The Custody Wars
Why Children are Losing the Legal Battle and What We Can Do About it
By (author) Mary Ann Mason
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Custody Wars by Mary Ann Mason
Book DescriptionHow should the courts decide custody cases that involve adoption, divorce, and single parenting? Should an abusive husband be given custody of his child? What about unwed fathers? Gay parents? How much say should young children have in court? In this text, family lawyer and historian, Mary Ann Mason, casts a harsh spotlight on these and other aspects of child custody. She argues that the legal shift to equal treatment of men and women has translated into parents' rights taking precedence over children's needs. Mason insists that fairness to parents must not come at the expense of children. Drawing on a wealth of legal cases and research, Mason presents a bold programme for reform that aims to change the terms of debate about child custody cases.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780465015290
(203mm x 135mm x 16mm)
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 7-Jan-2000
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Mary Ann Mason
Babies of Technology, Hardback (April 2017)
A powerful call to protect the unique needs and rights of children born today using assisted reproductive technology
Helping Faculty Find Work-Life Balance, Hardback (October 2010)
This book focuses on how academics juggle the demands of their personal and professional life. The authors focus on faculty's specific challenges change over the years of their academic careers.
Mothers on the Fast Track, Paperback (November 2009)
Along with her daughter, Mason has written a guide for young women who are facing the tough decision of when--and if--to start a family. The result is a roadmap of new choices for women facing the sobering question of how to balance a successful career with family.
All Our Families, Paperback (November 2002)» View all books by Mary Ann Mason
This text challenges the conventional wisdom that American families are disintegrating. It argues that comparing modern families to an imagined typical family of the past is dishonest and misleading. Most American families are not, and never were, like that.
US Kirkus Review » A fierce and informed plea for courts, parents, psychiatrists, and social workers to consider "the best interests of the child" before dividing custody, Solomon-like, between mother and father. Often, the child is the trophy that one or another parent carries off in vituperative clashes that have little or nothing to do with the welfare of the vulnerable offspring, says family-law expert Mason (Law and Social Welfare/Univ. of Calif., Berkeley; The Equality Trap, 1988). Political, scientific, legal, and social trends carry more weight in the courts that rule on custody than do considerations about the children, she charges. As the role of father is viewed more and more positively, courts are looking kindly on fathers (including unwed fathers) as joint or even primary caretakers in custody disputes and giving weight to biological claims even though the biological father may have been absent from the child's life for many years. Mason looks at these issues plus stepparents' lack of legal standing, the troubling rulings when domestic violence is an issue in divorce (fathers who abuse their partners may still get custody or substantial visitation because it was not shown that they abused their children); the turmoil when parents before the court are homosexual; and the morass of legal claims created by new reproductive technology. What's missing in all of this - in many cases, literally unmentioned in court documents or even in mediation reports - is the child. Mason offers a clear, concise plan to keep the best interests of the child in the forefront, including determining the "primary parent" (that is, the parent who is most responsible for everyday care), reviewing and possibly changing custody arrangements periodically as the child reaches new developmental stages, and most of all, consulting the children who are the center of the legal wrangles. Mason offers sometimes startling information regarding the absence of children's input or consideration of their needs in custody disputes, and a zinging denunciation of "one-sizefits-all" resolutions. (Kirkus Reviews)
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