COINCIDING with today's celebration of Father's Day, the Majorcan equivalent of Fathers For Justice is once again pushing for joint custody.
The new Spanish divorce law, introduced recently by the government of Rodriguez Zapatero, calls for joint custody of children when a marriage splits. But the Palma-based association claims that in almost all cases the mother is given custody which can lead to important problems such as legal custody battles. Yesterday, members of the association were out on the streets of Palma collecting signatures to help what they call, an unjust state of affairs. While the association, which is growing in size, frowns upon the antics of their counterparts in Britain, whose members have dressed up as superman and batman and have scaled important London buildings, they do say that their cause does need publicity. “The best way to resolve this state of affairs when there has been a divorce is joint custody. It means that the child or children can have a more stable up-bringing,” said a member of the group when they visited the Bulletin offices. They have taken renewed hope from the new divorce law but say that the judiciary also needs to be convinced that it can be beneficial.
The association says that divorce is a serious state of affairs and all the possible problems need to be taken into account. There have been cases where mothers with custody have not allowed their off-spring to see their fathers which leads to bitter legal battles. The outcome is usually supervised visits between child and father in a court-appointed area. “All we want is for people to listen to us and see that we do have a right and to understand all the heartbreak and problems we face thanks to an outdated legal position,” said a member of the association.