Do Courts Favor Mothers for Child Custody during Divorce?

Do Courts Favor Mothers for Child Custody during Divorce?

| Feb 4, 2021 | California Divorce, Child Custody, Divorce, Family Law

There are a lot of factors that go into deciding custody agreements, mother’s aren’t necessarily favored over fathers for that reason alone. 

Child custody is one of the most difficult aspects of divorce. At a time when a family dynamic is changing, it’s extremely important to determine the best custody agreement possible. 

When people think about custody agreements, they can sometimes assume that the majority of custody orders favor time spent with the mother. 

According to the US Census, in 2014 about five out of six custodial parents were mothers (82.5 percent) and one out of every six were fathers (17.5 percent). The statistics didn’t show much of a difference from information that was gathered in 1994.

However, statistics can be misleading. Every family situation and relationship with their child is different – there’s no way to compare your family and experience to someone else’s.

When custody disputes are brought before the court, they spend a great amount of time reviewing all of the information before them. They determine the custody agreement based on the best interest of the child and not solely based on the parental role.

Some factors that the court will consider include:

  • The child’s age
  • The child’s health
  • The emotional relationship between the parents child
  • The ability of the parents give the child the best care possible
  • Any history of family violence or substance abuse
  • The child’s ties to school, home, and his or her community.

There are different types of custody and different options when it comes to visitations. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to custody arrangements. 

There are 2 different types of custody:

  1. Legal custody – Who makes important decisions for your children (like health care, education, general welfare, etc)
  2. Physical custody – Which parent the child or children lives with

It’s important to distinguish which parent is in charge of the legal and/or physical custody, or the decision making when it comes down to the different types of custody and what responsibility will be shared by each parent. 

This is a breakdown of different visitations options:

  • Visitation according to a schedule: Parents and courts come up with a detailed visitation schedule outlining the dates and times that the children will be with each parent to minimize any confusion and clarify what works best for everyone. This can also include holidays, special occasions and vacations.
  • Reasonable visitation: These orders aren’t as detailed and are more open-ended. They give parents more flexibility to work things out with each other and works only if parents get along and communicate well
  • Supervised visitation: This is used when the children’s safety and well-being require that visits with the other parent be supervised by you, another adult, or a professional agency. It can also be used in cases where a child and a parent need time to become more familiar with each other if they haven’t seen each other in a long time
  • No visitation: This is when visiting with the parent, even with supervision, is physically or emotionally harmful to the children and it’s not in the best interest of the children for the parent to have any contact with the children

Just like families vary greatly, so do child custody agreements. 

So, while there is statistical data that shows mothers may have been more likely to get custody in other cases, it doesn’t mean that will necessarily be the case for you and your family. Divorce and everything that comes along with it can be stressful, especially when it involves children.

Our firm has extensive experience in dealing with divorce and custody, and we’ll work to make sure your family gets the best custody options available to you. Schedule a consultation with our office now to get the representation and support that you need. 

Share This