Saturday, August 31, 2013
From the Huffington Post:
Avidan Milevsky: The Non-Existent Sibling in U.S. Family Law
“Hardly a week goes by that I'm not presented with a proposed parenting plan that separates siblings"
- Judge Anne Kass
Imagine two child siblings tied together by much more than their sibling title. They love each other dearly and depend on each other for everything. At dawn, they laugh their way through the morning routine, breakfast, and the ride to school. When they cross paths during recess they make sure their eyes meet and nod to each other in an acknowledgment of their unrepeatable bond. After a long school day, they make their way home together and help each other with their home work. They spend the afternoon riding bikes together and can't wait for bedtime when they get to talk and giggle in bed together before mom comes in for the final request for quiet.
Now imagine that the warmth found in this sibling relationship is missing in the marital relationship of their parents. Their parents have been bickering for years and recently decided to divorce. After a lengthy divorce and custody battle the decision was made to split custody. The decision was reached based on the fact that the siblings were in fact half-siblings, the oldest sibling was from dad's previous marriage and the younger one was born to this crumbling union.
When the siblings inquire about being able to see each other after the divorce they are told that since their parents are no longer married they are legally no longer siblings and hence have no visitation rights.
For the full text, click here.