After providing a lengthy discussion of the existing precedent the US Supreme Court as recently as 2000 has said that:
“In light of this extensive precedent, it cannot now be doubted that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.”
There is no ambiguity in this statement. Parents have rights to their children under our constitution.
Does this mean that States respect these rights today? NO! It does not. What this means is that if the State deprives you of your constitutional rights you can fight and win if you do it correctly. States have been violating parental rights for so long that they are not going to give their power up easily. However, eventually when enough people stand up for their rights, the State will have to give way to the U.S. Constitution.
Many people will try to confuse you with arguments that seem to make divorce a special case. They may say things like, parental rights are part of the marriage but this is false. Constitutional rights apply to individuals, not marriages. The U.S. Supreme Court has made many statements about rights being individual. Some of these statements are:
It is the liberty clause that reflects and renews ‘the origins of the American heritage of freedom and the abiding interest in individual liberty that makes certain state intrusions on the citizen’s right to decide how he will live his own life intolerable.
The importance of the familial relationship, to the individuals involved and to the society, stems from the emotional attachments that derive from the intimacy of daily association, and from the role it plays in ‘promoting a way of life’ through the instruction of children… as well as from the fact of blood relationship.
We have held that a State cannot terminate parental rights based upon a presumption that a class of parents is unfit without affording individual parents an opportunity to rebut the presumption.
Yet the marital couple is not an independent entity with a mind and heart of its own, but an association of two individuals each with a separate intellectual and emotional makeup. If the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child…
While this Court has not attempted to define with exactness the liberty thus guaranteed, the term has received much consideration and some of the included things have been definitely stated. Without doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint, but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.
Whatever the rights of the individual to access to contraceptives may be, the rights must be the same for the unmarried and the married alike.
Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.
It is tempting, as a means of curbing the discretion of federal judges, to suppose that liberty encompasses no more than those rights already guaranteed to the individual against federal interference by the express provisions of the first eight Amendments to the Constitution… But of course this Court has never accepted that view.
There are many myths surrounding parental rights in divorce and States use these myths to keep people confused and unable to fight for their rights properly. You don’t have to be confused about these issues. We explain all of this in an easy to understand format in our book “NOT In the Child’s Best Interests.” In fact every U.S. Supreme Court quote listed above comes directly from our book. Your attorney should know these things and should be protecting your equal rights. However, if you ask them to fight the same old way they have always fought then you are likely to get the same old results.