Gender is something that can be considered in child custody cases. If you look at the lists of issues that the courts consider when determining what is in the child’s best interests, they may consider the gender of the child and of the parents. They know this plays a role.
But do they actually prefer one over the other? Are mothers, for instance, more likely to get custody than fathers?
The times have changed
Men have felt that things went this way in the past, that they were treated as second-class parents and had a harder time getting custody of the kids. The courts used to presume that mothers were far better parents, in large part because society’s gender roles typically dictated that women would stay in the home while men worked.
Thankfully, the times have certainly changed. It’s not the 1960s anymore. These days, women are far more likely to work, and many families have two working parents. At the same time, both parents tend to be more involved in taking care of the house and the kids, as well.
This change has carried over into child custody cases. The courts recognize that it’s actually in the best interests of a child to have a relationship with both parents. They attempt to use shared custody whenever they can. This means that neither gender is preferred over the other, and both mothers and fathers should have significant time with their kids.
That said, this time is not always equal and things can get complicated. Be sure you know what legal options you have