Are Mothers Or Fathers More Likely To Get Child Custody?
In the past, it was relatively common for mothers to almost always get child custody in a divorce proceeding. There are many reasons that this took place, historically. Having said that, things are very different today. While it is true that many judges still hold some outdated prejudices regarding whether mothers or fathers ought to have custody of a child, more and more states are passing laws that encourage courts to consider mothers and fathers equally when there is a question of child custody.
There are factors that are supposed to be more important to the court than whether the person who wants custody is the mother or the father. For example, if a child has been living with one parent throughout the divorce process, and if the child is doing well at that point, the court is often reluctant to award child custody to the other parent, as it seems to be disruptive to the child. In cases where the child is old enough to be able to form a reasonable opinion about who should get child custody, the court will very often listen to the child’s opinion as well. In addition, the court may look at any number of other factors, from lifestyle issues to the details of each parent’s living arrangements, such as the number of bedrooms in the home.
Having said all of that, it can still often be an uphill battle for a father to get child custody. Unless there is a specific and obvious advantage to living with the father, many courts are more likely to give child custody to the mother. In cases where there has been abuse by the mother, whether it is physical abuse or sexual abuse, or where there has been a history of child neglect or child endangerment, it can be easier for a father to get custody of a child. Outside of these situations, a father will often have to work a bit harder in order to get child custody than a mother would.