ERNEST STRUBE: Fairness to children trumps equality for parents
MAYVILLE, N.D. -- I am a divorced father; it is not something I am proud of. I have seen my children have to deal with the difficulties surrounding something that they are a part of and yet have no control over.
MAYVILLE, N.D. - I am a divorced father; it is not something I am proud of. I have seen my children have to deal with the difficulties surrounding something that they are a part of and yet have no control over.
None of my children wanted their parents to be apart, yet they were forced to deal with the consequences.
When I read Measure 6, it sounds good. In theory and in a perfect world, it would be good. But the fact that I am divorced is a statement to imperfection. In most marriages, if you were able to resolve conflicts reasonably and effectively, the marriage would still be in place.
Raising children involves a lot of decision making, and someone has to have decision-making responsibility for children, especially for medical, education and religious decisions. Under our current system, this is done through a parenting plan. The plan can be completed by the parents, with the help of a mediator or when other avenues fail, by the court system.
At all times, the focus is on what’s in the best interest of the children.
Our current system already allows for everything that Measure 6 will mandate, and in most instances it has been used effectively. It works with parents who are willing and want to work together for the benefit of their children. Unfortunately, this seems to be the exception and not the norm.
Too often, children are thrown into the middle and used to manipulate, control and exact retribution from the former spouse.
As is the case for many divorced parents, my former wife and I do not live in the same community. How can equal parenting time be administered? Would it be suggested that my child/children transfer back and forth between two school systems? If so, how often? Weekly? Annually?
I see no way that this can be in the best interest of my children’s education or the extracurricular activities they want to be a part of.
Under the proposed law, one would have to show that the other parent is “unfit” in order to garner primary residential responsibility. I believe that we all agree that in many cases, one person can be a better parent without going to the extent of saying that the other parent is “unfit.”
Vote no on Measure 6; it should be about what is fair to children, not what is equal to parents. Although fair and equal sound similar, one is about quality while the other is about quantity. I choose quality for my children.
Strube is president and CEO of The Goose River Bank in Mayville.