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Does every problem require fresh expense?

November 17, 2011
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith

We're sure Martin County officials involved in overseeing custody transfers and/or orders for protection would like to smooth out the way antagonistic or outright hostile parents deal with child transfers. However, we're not sure that a plan to create a "visitation center," possibly staffed by county personnel, is the right idea.

Essentially, county officials have seen normal child transfers turn ugly. Or they worry about a child being safe and supervised for, say, the 15-minute interval between being dropped off by one parent and picked up by the other.

These situations may indeed seem or actually be "messy." But taxpayers have the right to ask whether they should be responsible for the cleanup.

If parents cannot peacefully transfer children to one another, then perhaps what is needed is to remove the parental rights of the offending party. That would leave the child in custody of one parent, and no transfers would be necessary.

On the issue of the 15-minute delay for children:?Get rid of it and see the previous suggestion. If one parent is incapable of putting aside his or her hostility to do the right thing for his or her children, why let that person have custody at all?

It becomes too easy, we believe, for government officials to see a problem and seek a solution in more government. Why not instead look to individual responsibility and consequences for failure? This would help reverse the poor lessons citizens are currently learning from their government.



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