Thomas C. Wight
General Psychology I, Monday and Wednesday 1:00 to 2:15pm
22 January 2013
The Best Interest of the Child
A Review of the Literature
The divorce rate among Americans has steadily risen in recent years with approximately 50% of marriages ending in divorce, or at least that’s what we have been told. The divorce rate in America has actually taken a slight decline in recent years and is approximately 35% to 40%. While that is still a very large percentage, it is an improvement. It has made fairly consistent climb from approximately 5% at the turn of the 20th century, mostly due to individuals no longer needing to provide sufficient grounds for divorce as they have in years past. (Clarkson, L 2011.) While nobody argues an individual’s right to divorce, separate or remained married. We need to consider how our children will develop psychologically in a world where divorce is not only acceptable, but a normal chain of events for approximately half of the marriages in America. Will our children begin to blame themselves for their parent’s marital problems? The review of this article examines the courts battle when deciding child custody cases in relation to divorce, separation, or the death of a spouse. Child custody raises many questions: 1. Should the court consider the needs of the child or base the decision purely on State or Federal codes? 2. Is there past case law to be considered that would assist in reaching the proper decision? 3. Should the child’s wants be considered if they are an adolescent? 4. Should religion or sexual orientation be considered when deciding child custody? I don’t believe that child custody should be decided solely according to State or federal Codes; however, they need to be considered. Each child custody case is unique, and of course all of those questions need to be addressed, along with multiple other questions.
In the article “The Best Interest of the...