There is no gender preference in child custody matters – in theory. The black letter law does not favor either the mother or father. A father should have as much a chance as success as a mother. Well, that’s in theory, but it does not work that way. There is bias against fathers in child custody matters.

Gender Bias In The Judiciary

Gender bias in the judiciary is defined as judges making decisions based on their preconceived notions of the parent’s gender rather than drawing conclusions impartially after considering the evidence presented. Gender bias is a subtle, but very present, form of discrimination. It does not begin and end with your Judge. People have a tendency to be gender bias. The assumptions that men do this, and women do that is gender bias and it pervades our society. Also consider, that the courthouse is primarily women. There may be more male judges than women, but the law clerks, courtroom clerks, judge’s secretaries are mostly women. These individuals are often in the courtroom when trials take place, and the presiding Judge will discuss the case with his staff. There is a lot of female influence throughout the family law division of the courthouse.

The Only Way To Combat Gender Bias In Your Custody Matter
Is To Expect It And Build Your Case To Combat It

Fathers need to prepare themselves for a custody case, with gender bias in mind. Traditional role-playing that is so common from family to family needs to be altered. Frankly, mothers tend to assume more administrative tasks when it comes to the children, preparing the children’s meals, doing the children’s laundry, making medical appointments, and finding daycare. These tasks make mothers appear more involved with the children than fathers, to the children, and to the rest of the world.

Neutralize the bias! If you are unhappy in your marriage, plan to divorce, and want sole or shared custody of your children you need to make a plan. You need to anticipate gender bias. Get involved in the day-to-day activities. Make medical appointments and go to them, cook dinner, do laundry, do homework, go to parent-teacher conferences, and so forth. Let your children be aware that you can do these things too.

Do not put yourself at the mercy of the other parent. Do not leave the home without a written signed agreement about physical custody – even if it is a temporary agreement. If you leave the home, the other parent will be in a position of dominance with respect to the children. Children do not like change, and they may prefer to remain at home with the other parent.

Talk To An Attorney

We can help. Our practice is primarily family law. And we have decades of experience. We know our judges, we know our court system. We can help you assemble a plan. We can help you understand what you can do in your circumstances, no matter where you are in the divorce and custody process. If you want to begin to make your plan, are ready to consult with an attorney, or just need some questions answered, contact us here, go online to schedule an appointment, or call us at (301)515-1190 to set up an initial consultation.


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