|Commentary: Divorce, Children, and Nudism||
Written by Cheri Alexander's husband, an attorney. Cheri owns and runs the Travelites which is a non-landed travel club based in South Carolina. Email: Travelites.
This article is being submitted to The Bulletin, a publication of the AANR. It will also appear in the Travelites' Oct/Nov. newsletter.
COMMENTARY: BREAK UP, CHILDREN & NUDISM: Many people believe it is harmful for children to see others in the nude or for them to be nude in the presence of others. Objective studies by several well-qualified professionals clearly indicate this is not the case. Unfortunately, intuitive belief often rules even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The perseverance of this belief can have tragic and devastating results when a marriage dissolves, and one partner wishes to participate in nudism with his or her children.
There are a rash of cases around the country where participation in nudism has become an issue regarding custody and visitation with children. Ironically, many of these include situations where both spouses participated in nudism prior to the break up. The usual scenario is that one parent participates in a nudist event with the children, the other learns of it and seeks legal intervention. Many judges, having little knowledge of nudism, will take the "safe" way out and prohibit the children's participation in nudism.. Worst case scenarios include changes in custody, ordering of supervised or other limitations on visitation, Social Services intervention, and possible criminal abuse charges.
"They can't do that" you say! Regrettably, the practical response is: "How much justice can you afford?" We believe that in a well-presented case with really good experts before an open minded judge, the nudist view could prevail. To accomplish this would cost many thousands of dollars. The emotional cost of what is likely to be a long, bitter fight are incalculable. The national organizations may provide some assistance, but it remains likely that the individual would still bear most, if not all, of the financial burden.
What is one to do? The choices are not good. Unless one is prepared for an extraordinary fight, the only answer is that a separated spouse should never take children to a nudist event without the express consent of the other. Express means just that - clear, unequivocal, and positive permission for the children to participate in nudism.. "I told her I was going to a nudist club, and she didn't say anything" is not sufficient. If there is any doubt, either get written permission or do not include the children.
The Travelites are very concerned about this issue. The concern is not only for any member directly involved but for the club as a whole. The repercussions from a bad case can extend beyond those directly involved. One could be questioned under oath about everyone who was present at a given event. An officer of the club might be subpoenaed and ordered to produce the entire membership records. This has not been a problem at a Travelites event, but in the event of a separation, we would be extremely reluctant to permit children to attend without assurance that both spouses consented.
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