What was passionate bliss just a few years ago has turned into all-out war. Two mega stars, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are about to fight it out in family court and their three children are in the middle. The children didn't ask for this. They never asked to have celebrity parents. They didn't even ask to be born. Their parents created this whole thing. Now there is a problem and the children are going to be hurt the most.
Apparently, Jennifer has stated that full custody is not negotiable citing Ben's irresponsible behavior, namely picking the children up late from school and other transgressions on that same level of seriousness. Can she actually win on this?
The policy underlying family law as it pertains to the custody of minor children is two-fold. First, the paramount concern is the best interests of the children. That concern is balanced against another public policy consideration, namely a preference for joint custody. In my experience, courts are reluctant to take custody away from a parent who does not physically or mentally abuse children and who does not have a propensity towards violence or has substance abuse problems. The court will probably begin operating from the presumption that joint custody is in the children's best interest. If Ben continues to misbehave, the court might make orders designed to discourage such conduct. For example, the court might make an order that on Ben's days, he is to pick up the children from school. If he fails to do this consistently, that and other conduct might form the basis for Jennifer to obtain full custody of the children. I am sure we will all get to see this drama unfold blow by blow.