Do Judges Favour Mothers?
In short: no, not anymore. There are, however, a number of factors that courts will take into consideration when determining custody of dependent children.
Previously, it was assumed that children should stay with their mother if the mother and father divorce. However, most states don’t automatically honour this unspoken rule anymore. Some areas have even passed regulations stating that there shouldn’t be a custody preference that favors women over men.
The laws in your state may vary when it comes to the factors courts must consider to determine arrangements for custody. However, in today’s courts, the judge awards custody based on the child’s best interests.
In many instances, mothers are more likely to fit this description. This is primarily based on the structure of the marriage of family, since many women stay at home with their children while their husband works. Of course, society is changing, and there are more fathers caring for children at home while the mother is working outside of the home.
If a divorcing couple can put their differences aside, they will likely agree that they both want to do what is best for their child. If you’re a father going through a divorce, it’s important to know which factors the courts will use to determine if you should be awarded custody. You’ll have to prove your parenting skills, whether you want visitation with your child, joint custody, or sole custody.
One of the main factors that come into play when it comes to custody is which parent is the primary caregiver for the child. This is also referred to in some courts as the parent who is most qualified to meet the needs of the child. These qualifications include accepting parental responsibility, providing medical care, giving spiritual guidance, feeding and clothing the child, and ensuring the child is in a safe and loving environment.
In some families, these tasks are shared by both parents. Some couples also decide that the father will stay at home with the children. However, even though more women are working full time these days, they are still more likely to be the primary caretaker for the children.
Even if you haven’t been involved in many of the daily responsibilities that come with caring for children, it’s important to start taking on as many of these tasks as possible if you want custody. If you’re a father who wants primary or sole custody of your child, you’ll have to handle many of these tasks on your own, for days or weeks at a time, after your divorce. The court will look at your history of active parenting when determining custody.
The Bond Between Child and Parent
Another important aspect of child custody the courts will review is your relationship with your child. The younger your son or daughter is, the more likely it is that the child has a stronger bond with their mother. This is not necessarily a reflection of poor co-parenting on your part, since babies and toddlers tend to spend more time with their mothers.
Mothers are also more likely to take time off from their careers to stay home with the child. This means younger children will probably look to their mothers for emotional support and to have their basic needs met.
If you and your husband are divorcing while your children are still very young, you’ll have to show the courts that you know how to care for small children. This may mean proving that you can take enough time off work for bonding, you know how to prepare healthy meals, and you know which educational resources are best for your child’s mental and emotional development.
Claiming bias in a custody case may not be the most recommended strategy depending on the nature of your former marriage and divorce. If you’re a father and feel that you would be a more fitting parent for your child, petition your case to the courts, with documented evidence that you can accurately meet your children’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs.