Moms, Not Judges, Know What's Best For Their Kids

A mother in North Carolina is probably going to go to jail for making the decision to not honor the custody agreement between her and her former spouse. At first glance, it seems insane, right? A mother should WANT her children to have a relationship with their father, correct? In this case, however, the mom is actually correct.

The children, 4 and 7, have an alleged drug dealer for a father. David Edward Kennedy was fired from his job with the city of Charlotte, NC when he failed a drug test, and in November, he was indicted on federal cocaine trafficking charges. Does that sound like the kind of person you would want around your kids? It seems no. And yet a judge has ordered their mother to honor their joint custody agreement or she will get jail time.

The fact is, this dad has reportedly confessed to dealing drugs and the mother says she does not feel safe sending her kids to him. So now the court overrules mother’s instinct? How fair is that?

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There is something very insulting in this ruling. It’s as if a mom (or a dad if the tables were turned) can’t make a decision in the best interest of her child just because the judge decides it is not "dangerous" enough. In November, the unnamed mother filed for a custodial change, but Judge Charlotte Brown said:

Even if he was indicted with 20 kilos of cocaine…there has to be some danger to the child.  If the child was in the car with him while he was making a drug deal or subjecting a child to maybe guns, then I could see the emergency.

Really? The judge does not see that a man dealing in narcotics may be mildly dangerous for his children? And if not "dangerous," at least a VERY bad influence, no?

This mom is doing something she thinks is best for her kids and the judge is saying nope, sorry you have to do what I say. How do we know we can trust this judge? Simply by virtue of being divorced, a mom (or a dad) start to lose parental authority. 

There is an automatic assumption that the custodial parent is trying to be vengeful or vindictive and not putting their kids first when the exact opposite appears to be the truth here. Who will suffer the consequences if this mother goes to jail? It will be the children. How is any of this in the "best interest of the children"?

This is not unlike when unmarried women and men have babies and the mom is automatically awarded some large sum in child support regardless of whether he wanted the child or not. If you are unmarried and you share children, the courts are going to make you do whatever they want. And "they" are often some judge who makes decisions based on what he or she had for breakfast that day.

It is a truly messed up situation and courts should not have nearly this kind of power. They take away the autonomy of parents and say it is in "the best interests of the children." It is frightening and makes me definitely want to avoid divorce at all cost. How is this the best system we can find?

Do you think this mom should be able to stop visitations without asking?

 

 

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