If you want to know what happen to America’s family law system, follow the Money! It all started with the unilateral no-fault divorce. Since then, millions of dollars are given to fund the State and CPS in custody cases every year.
This is why…
In the fault based system, the focus was on the parent and who breached the contract (apart from abuse, neglect, and a few other important reasons). It basically focused on giving the child to the parent who obeyed the law. This kept the focus on the parent’s constitutional rights and not the court’s discretionary opinion. When the courts did away with contract law (who was at fault) the system needed a way to decide what was in the Best Interest of the Child (and not why a divorce occurred or who was at fault).
These are the heavy-hitters:
1969 – Unilateral no-fault divorce
1970 – Best Interest of the Child Standards
1974 – CAPTA authorizes federal funding for abuse that shaped CPS
1975 – Title IV-D funding for Child Support collections by the Social Security Act
1989 – UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Best Interest of the Child)
1994 – VAWA (Violence Against Woman’s Act)
1997 – Adoption and Safe Families Act (federal funding for CPS)
The Best Interest of the Child is not new, it was from an old American law in the 18th Century. It was called the Best Interest of the Infant. The Best Interest of the Infant was created because in the 18th Century all Children went to the father. Or, better yet, all children were considered under the custody of the father. When a father had an extreme case of abuse or neglect, the Best Interest of the Infant was used to take these kids out of the home. Therefore, CPS and United Nations (rights of the child – article 3) both adopted the “Best Interest of the Child” principles to logically debate safety concerns.
Remember, these principles were not designed to have a “fair” hearing but they were designed for safeguarding all children from an abusive home. So, in five years from 1969-1974 there was an explosive focus on “Abuse and Neglect” in America (AND) a focus change from the parent’s or child’s constitutional rights to the best interest of the child standards. Therefore, the Best Interest of the Child laws were designed to supersede the Parent’s rights in the courtroom in keeping with the unilateral no-fault divorce premise.
The Best Interest factors are used by Family Court, CPS and the UN to seize control of a child from a parent. Your children are no longer your own at that point (ward of the state). They belong to the government anytime they want because the Federal Government gave this right. That is why Abuse or Neglect does not need to be proved in either the UN, CPS or Family court. It is fully discretionary.
These governing agencies simply want what is best for your child. Since, in their minds, most cases can be seen with the eye (observational) or heard from the tail (testimonies) they still focus on different forms of abuse. Meaning discretion of the case workers or judge is deemed sufficient in most courts of law. Otherwise, there would be more parents arrested for these “claims” of abuse or neglect and less abduction of the children out of the homes with neither, in their eyes, require a search warrant or claims of eminent danger.
I hope this helps!