Author Topic: Need legislation to eliminate inconsistent custody guidelines  (Read 5092 times)

Guru

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There are a few counties in Kansas who have published Family law Guidelines or Custody Guidelines.  These seem harmless and a way to keep consistency.  However, the problem is that state-wide, they are not consistent.  They also inherently invite prejudgement of noncustodial parents.  KSA 60-1610 does not give preference to which parent should be custodial or if both should have custody equally.  But, by having custody guidelines, there is virtually no chance of a parent getting a fair shake because all judges just look in the book rather than looking at what's right.

Further, the method by which such guidelines are developed is top secret.  We can call them pseudo-laws and they are developed by a hand picked group of judges and attorneys (that's it!).  So, the judges and attorneys you deal with all the time have prejudged your case before you ever arrived, and they all know exactly how it will turn out before the day is over.  Not fair.

Legislation needs to be in place to either a.) mandate that any and all meetings of such committees must be open to the public and all meeting minutes must be published and any such guideline must be approved by a team of legislators, or b.) mandate that no such guideline may exist because it attempts to overrule KSA 60-1610.

FatherOfMyKids1

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Re: Need legislation to eliminate inconsistent custody guidelines
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 05:30:00 PM »
I'm trying to figure out why we would abolish inconsistant guidelines by counties since pulling legislation closer to the local level is the only way
local people get their power to control their local area and not be pushed around by the State of Kansas or the Federal Government. 
Probably a few more details of your experience with one or more counties would help me understand what the issues are.  Isn't the big
picture is that we are looking at getting the State of Kansas' Family Courts out of our lives, and so how does focusing on a few counties do that?
Anyway, I'm curious about what counties and why they did their own guidelines and how they override the State of KS. 

Guru

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Re: Need legislation to eliminate inconsistent custody guidelines
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 06:10:16 PM »
Some of the counties and their respective guidelines are discussed a little bit here: http://kschildsupportforum.com/general-discussions/

To an extent I do agree with you.  The reason I think things need to change is because silly things like defining a weekend can't even be accomplished correctly in some of these guidelines.  You and I might figure a weekend is at least Saturday and Sunday, right?  One of the counties defines this as no less than 8 hours.  So 8 hours is a minimum weekend.  This topic is discussed a little more here: http://kschildsupportforum.com/general-discussions/johnson-county-family-law-guidelines/

One father who has posted here was actually denied shared custody because he lived just a few miles outside the guideline-recommended distance for shared custody.  I can see the value in a guideline, but I think in this case it failed this particular father.

I think the biggest problem I have with the guidelines is how they are developed.  They are developed by a team of judges and attorneys who make these rules so they can all enforce them as law.  So they make the rules, and they enforce them.  There is minimal input from the public, and there are no meeting minutes to figure out why certain rules are what they are.

mykidzmom

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Re: Need legislation to eliminate inconsistent custody guidelines
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2013, 11:30:54 PM »
It is so sad that two parents can't just sit down and work something out that will work for the kids. People need to be educated about what the courts will/can do once you invite the system into your home. And people need to stop being so vindictive. I personally feel that difficult cases that "require" a CM or mediator should have a transcriptionist there, so that the judge (if necessary) can see if one party is being more difficult than the other. Whichever parent can't get over him/herself for the best interest of the kid(s) loses parenting time because they are not stable! I've heard of both attorneys agreeing with one party and trying to convince the other party to go along...if you aren't listening to your own attorney you might have an issue! Anyway...what was the topic? LOL Oh yeah...if parents would just work this stuff out together, there would be no need for guidelines to tell the parents how THEIR time with THEIR kids will go.

Dad

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Re: Need legislation to eliminate inconsistent custody guidelines
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2013, 05:30:45 PM »
@mykidzmom, if the parents could work out issues so simply and together, perhaps they would not be divorced.  I am personally familiar with a situation where one parent has been identified as more stable, and the other parent has been identified as placing the children in the middle of conflict and causing negative effects on relationship between kids and the more stable parent. Parenting time remains equal because that is what is currently believed to be in the children's best interest.  Per the court, being a pain in the ass is not a crime and does not necessitate reduced parenting time.