Battle of the Sexes: Custody Laws and Gender Preferences

Legal Adviser September 7, 2015
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childIt is one of the pressing questions regarding child custody: do mothers have more rights compared to fathers?

Fortunately for fathers, the answer sheds some rays of hope. No custody laws in the United States give mothers a preference when it comes to the custody of their children. If you are a parent seeking the custody of your child, it is important that you possess legal knowledge about your rights and responsibilities. For divorce lawyers in Suffolk County, NY, it is one way you can prepare to win your child custody case.

Discovering the Root of the Assumption

Why do people assume that mothers have more rights?

Historically, a majority of the population believed mothers would win custody cases due to their roles as the primary care provider of the children. Since fathers are always away to provide financially, mothers feed and take care of their kids.

Due to this set-up, most fathers assume they would not win custody due to their ex-spouse’s role as the primary caretaker.

Breaking the myth of custody and gender preferences

Today, custody laws do not base decisions according to gender preferences. Most mothers work outside the home to financially provide while the father serves as the main caretaker. In the case of infants and very young children, the courts may give primary custody to the mother due to the child’s need for breastfeeding. Commonly, the ruling only allows a few to no overnights to the non-custodial parent until the child is able to eat on their own.

Custody rulings typically focus more on the child’s best interests than the gender of the parent.

A hope for fathers seeking custody

Most divorcing parents agree that the mother gains custody while the father receives visitation rights. This occurs due to the mother having more time and better understanding of their children’s need. But a father fighting for his children’s custody also has a fair chance.

Fathers should not let gender stereotypes stop them. If both parents work full-time, the court deems them on equal footing. If a father has more spare hours, he could have a leg up. The judge will create a decision based on which parent can care for the child the most.

Custody laws do not base decisions according to gender. As long as you have your child’s best interests at heart, then present yourself as the willing and capable parent.

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Category: Of Two Minds
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