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Do divorce courts give mothers preference over fathers? 

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2021 | Child Custody & Visitation

When people are heading towards a divorce, you may hear fathers voice their worries that they will not see their children again, as they are sure that the court is going to give custody to the children’s mother. They may claim that the system is stacked against them or that the courts are biased based on outdated gender roles — namely, fathers who work and mothers who stay home and take care of the kids.

Is this true? Do mothers automatically get preference when it comes to the custody of the children?

The times have changed

You can argue that this used to be true, especially when those narrow gender roles were defined as noted above. However, things have changed. Fathers have actively fought for their rights. Women have begun working in greater numbers than ever before. 

If you were getting a divorce in the 1950s, you may have accurately guessed that women would get preferential custody treatment. In 2021 and beyond, though, this is regarded as a misconception. Courts now try to seek a fair split of custody time between both parents. 

In addition to parental roles changing, child behavior experts have said that it’s best for children, in terms of growth and development, if they can still see both parents. So this move to give more equal custody rights is driven more by what is best for the children more than it is by what their parents desire. 

Getting to see your children

Despite all of this, and regardless of your gender, you may worry about getting to see your children after a divorce. You must know what rights you have and what steps you can take to protect that time with your kids. Talk to your attorney early about your concerns so you can understand more about the custody process and what you can actually expect.