Father’s Day (by a Divorce Lawyer)

Randy Kessler

Past Chair, ABA Family Law Section, Family Law Atty, Media Contributor on Family Law Issues (Divorce/Custody/Paternity)


Father’s Day. Lots of things come to mind, but for me, as a divorce lawyer, it sounds more like “Parent’s Day”. All parents should be celebrated and hopefully able to be with their children on this day. Rather than single out one parent, why not focus on one, but maintain the importance of both? And yes this applies to Mother’s Day as well. Two loving parents are better than just one. And in fact, California has recently authorized judges to designate three legal parents (think same sex couples plus the other sex parent whose semen or egg was needed). Generally we must all agree that the more people loving, caring for and supporting a child, the better. Of course there are exceptions and of course (and unfortunately) there are bad parents. But when all parents love and support a child, doesn’t that increase the child’s chances for happiness, success and a good future?

In my line of work, every day I see people fighting over kids, each convinced they love the child more and know what is best for the child. But today, Father’s Day, should be a day on which we stop and say “let’s be sure our child knows we all love and support him or her, that we can cooperate, that if we are not together as parents, we can at least exchange the child agreeably and with kind and soft words”.

For a child to know that his or her parents love each other, or at least that they respect each other and can get along, is one of the greatest gifts a child can receive. And this is not just for divorced, or never-married families. Marriages and intact families should also strive to offer this gift to their children. This would not only help children, it would reduce the need for lawyers to be , and I for one, think that is a good thing

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