Child-Custody Decisions: A King Solomon’s Solution?

Jack K. and Sally L. met at a “Parents without Partners” picnic. Jack, divorced for two years, had his three
daughters for the weekend. The girls were all under seven years old. A friend suggested attending the
picnic so that the children might have some friends around, and Jack could interact with other adults.
Sally had a two-year-old son and was never married. She was dating a man and had an unplanned
pregnancy. She did not want to marry the father and decided to raise the child by herself. The father of
the boy has not been involved in his life.
Jack and Sally hit it off and married 18 months after meeting. Both Jack and Sally love children and
decided to have more children. Sally gave up her career as a pharmacist with the decision to raise the
children. Jack owns a construction business and can easily support the family. Jack and Sally had
another two children over the next five years. Jack continued to have weekend custody with his three
children from his previous marriage. His children from the previous marriage also spend one month during
the summer with the new family.
After seven years of marriage to Sally, Jack decided he wants a divorce and wishes to re-marry his first
wife. Sally was taken totally by surprise and learned that Jack has been having an affair with his ex-wife
for the past three years of their marriage. Jack wants full custody of the two children he had with Sally,
along with Sally’s first son. Her first son developed a strong attachment to Jack and thinks of Jack as his
biological father. Jack and his first wife file for full custody of all the children and threaten a long-drawnout court battle. Sally wants full custody of all of her biological children and does not want to separate her
family. She also counter-sues for shared custody of Jack’s three girls, as she and the girls have
established a family bond. The animosity that has developed among the adults promises to support a
long and contentious court battle. The court appoints Dr. Evelyn King, a forensic psychologist, to make
child custody recommendations to the court.
Written Exercise Questions:
1. Please decide who should have custody of whom and what type of custody arrangements should
be made based on the information above.
2. What other information would be important to gather?
3. How did you reach your decisions?
4. What standard(s) did you consider in reaching your decisions?
5. Did you notice any personal biases swaying your decision?
Note: The children involved in this exercise should address all the children, which include:
 Jack’s three girls from his previous marriage
 Sally’s first son from her earlier relationship
 Jack and Sally’s two children
Submit your paper to the Assignment box and attach your paper in a post to the Written Exercise 7
Discussion Board no later than Saturday 11:59 PM EST/EDT. (This Assignment box is linked to
To complete this assignment, you will respond logically to at least three of your classmates’ papers. Each
of your responses is to be at least 100 words in length and can be based solely on your opinion. Refer to
the syllabus for additional guidance. You must post your responses no later than Sunday 11:59 PM

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