Child Custody Rights Of Mothers And Fathers

Child CustodyChild Custody Rights of Mothers and Fathers

Article by Sutiyo Na

These days, the issue on child custody had taken a 180-degree turn when the law no longer believes that mothers should be the first priority in the event of the couple’s separation or divorce. Nowadays, decisions on child custody cases are based solely on the best interest of the child.

At best, decisions on child custody are not gender specific. This is deemed fair for both father and mother, and the best for the child or children.

Child  Custody rights of fathers

Before the 70s, custody was often vested with the mothers following the “tender years doctrine”. The tender years doctrine presumed that children 13 years and under should be with the mother.

Later, it was found that the doctrine violated the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In most states, the guideline was for the best interest of the child.

This became public policy to determine child custody awards and the law to guide the family courts. Despite this, many family courts today still give great weight to the mother’s role as the primary caregiver.

Nevertheless, more fathers are now winning custody of their children. In some, it is settled by mutual agreement between parties. In others, the children declare preference in living with their fathers.

In cases where there a deadlock and the courts do the deciding, fathers prove to be the more emotionally stable parent. They present to the court their better abilities in providing better living environment for their children.

In other circumstances, the mothers are sometimes unable to afford the expenses of a protracted custody battle, or are set in pursuing a career for themselves, or some other reasons.

Today, however, more and more fathers are getting custody of their children whether by mutual agreement or by the decision of the courts. Most courts have placed equal importance to both mother and father in the delicate and emotional issue of child custody.

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