Do Family Courts discriminate against fathers in custody battles?

By April 6, 2011Visitation

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Visitation on Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Huffington Post columnist recently discussed one of the most controversial questions in family law: does the American Family Court system discriminate against fathers when it comes to assigning child custody?

In earlier times, it was often presumed that only a mother could provide the care and nurturing young children require and, therefore, mothers were almost always rewarded primary custody during a divorce. Today’s Family Court system, however, claims to consider the best interests of the children above all else when making custody decisions. This paradigm should ensure that the court creates custody arrangements based purely upon which parent can provide an environment best suited to cultivate their children’s physical and emotional health. Theoretically a parent’s gender does not play into this equation, instead measuring their parenting skills and ability to provide a stable, loving home for their children.

However, according to one Huffington Post columnist, the majority of Family Court decisions across the nation are still dominated by gender bias, fueled by an out-dated notion that mothers are inherently better parents than fathers. He asserts that, despite official policies which recognize that men are just as capable of raising healthy, happy children as women, many fathers continue to fall victim to old gender-based stereotypes and prejudices which cast them as a second-class parent.

During a custody battle, each parent presents their unique case arguing why they could best protect the interests of their children. Yet, are mothers given an unfair advantage over their ex-partners based merely on their gender? Our next blog post will continue discussing this interesting article and seek your opinion on this issue.

Source: Huffington Post, “The ‘Y’ Factor: Gender bias, Child Custody and the Great Parenting Myth.” David T. Pisarra, 28 March 2011