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Fact or Myth: Courts Favor The Mother in a Child Custody Case

When parents get divorced, the terms of child custody can weigh on the entire family. Not knowing who gets custody can be stressful and frustrating. Not only is the process stressful, but parents can become confused and misled by all the myths circling around child custody cases. Gossip from other families’ divorce cases can spark a lot of fear. For instance, many people believe that the courts favor the mother in a child custody case. This myth has been proven wrong time and time again, but the idea still haunts a lot of fathers out there going through a divorce. The truth is, the courts do not favor one parent or the other without hearing from the family first. There are a lot of factors that are taken into consideration before a final custody decision is made. In this article, we discuss why people may believe the courts favor the mother in a child custody case, how one parent gets full custody, and what you have to prove to make that happen.

Courts Favor The Mother in a Child Custody Case: Myth

Today, family courts all over the country will approach a child custody case with an open mind and a balanced perspective. They encourage both parents to be a part of the child’s life whenever possible. Leaning towards one parent or the other before hearing the case is not common practice. However, there’s a good reason why people might still believe this myth that the courts favor the mother in a child custody case. This is because it used to be common practice for the courts to lean towards putting custody of the child with the mother. This was especially true if the children were young (toddlers or early elementary school age children). This was also at a time when mothers served more traditional roles in the home. Now, it’s more common to see both parents working full time and sharing responsibilities. That’s precisely why this practice has been phased out. The judge will rule on whatever path is in the best interest of the child.

What Factors Determine the ‘Best Interest of the Child’?

Since we’ve established that you can’t trust that the courts favor the mother in a child custody case, we can cover the factors that do matter. When deciding a child custody case, family courts will want to determine what is in the best interest of the child. The courts will want to know:

  • Both parents’ medical histories, mental and physical. Is one parent or the other physically or mentally incapable of caring for the child?
  • The financial stability of both parents. Do they hold steady employment? Does one parent make a significantly higher salary than the other? Are they able to provide basics like shelter, food, clothes, and medical care?
  • The child’s age and gender.
  • The child’s medical history, both mental and physical.
  • If the child is over the age of 12, what is their desired outcome? The courts will ask what they prefer in these cases.
  • Is the child more emotionally connected to one parent or the other? The emotional bond is an important factor in all custody cases.
  • What do the parents want? Is the arrangement amicable? Do they agree on joint custody? Is there a chance the ruling will be challenged?
  • Does each parent support and encourage the child to have a connection with the other parent?
  • The quality of life each parent can provide.
  • Each parents’ lifestyle and habits. Is one parent struggling with alcohol, drug, or gambling addictions?
  • Is there a history of domestic abuse in the home?
  • How long will it take for the child to adapt to their new home or lifestyle? Does living with one parent over the other disrupt the child’s routine? Will the child have to change schools? Will it involve moving to a new city or state?

Is Full Custody a Possibility?

As mentioned above, when it comes to child custody, the family courts want both parents to be involved in the child’s life whenever possible. However, of course, full custody is possible in certain circumstances.

  • If one parent moves away and shows little to no interest in caring for the child
  • If there’s a long history of physical or sexual abuse with one parent
  • If one parent is addicted to drugs or alcohol
  • If one parent has no home or shelter to provide for the child

These sort of situations might lead to full custody of one parent. However, you’ll have to provide evidence of these circumstances in order to get full custody.

For More Information on Child Custody Cases

If you’d like more information, contact a trusted Boca Raton child custody attorney. They can provide you with all of the resources you need in order to move forward with your case. Connect with Lewert Law today to learn more about your child custody options!