Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Protecting the children

From an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

In what realm of life do we allow something that clearly hurts children to remain solely a private decision?
Government often inserts itself into citizens' private decisions through the law. For example, individuals can't decide how fast to drive in a school zone. Instead, we lower the speed limit, put up flashing yellow lights and even post police nearby to make sure everyone obeys the law...Yet, when it comes to divorce, it seems harder for us to admit the social damage that results and the need for reasonable legal measures to address it....I believe we should support and understand the needs of divorced and single parents — my parents fall into this category — but our concern for these adults has long prevented us from talking unflinchingly about the experience of children of divorce.
The adult perspective has long dominated the divorce debate in this country. How many kids' futures are we willing to risk in order to have our divorces with the least possible fuss and the greatest possible speed, no questions asked?
Is it really unreasonable to say it should take a minimum of four months to finalize a decision that will affect family members for the rest of their lives? Is it really burdensome for parents to attend one class that focuses on the challenges their children will face because of divorce and how best to help them through such a tough time?

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