It may seem that every time a couple divorces, the mother automatically gets custody of the children. In many cases, mothers do receive custody of the children, but it has little to do with a gender bias and more to do with what is best for the children.
Often, the mother retains the family home and is usually the primary caregiver. Because of this, giving custody to the mother means the children will be able to stay in their home and in the same schools. Courts want children to be as stable as possible during this difficult time and giving custody to the parent who will be able to stay in the home is an important consideration.
However, it is not written in stone that mothers will gain custody of the children. The courts will look at the best place for the child to be raised. Several factors help a judge make that difficult decision. The age of the children is a factor as most courts believe young children should stay with the parent who has been their primary caregiver. In today’s world of so many families needing two incomes, this could be either parent.
Believe it or not, how you treat your spouse could be a consideration. Courts will often check to see who is most interested in cooperating with their ex. While this may surprise you, how cooperative you are shows you are concerned with the relationship your children have with your ex. If you bad-mouth your ex and make his/her life difficult, it is likely you will continue to fight and make life hard on your children, too.
If the children are old enough, the courts may ask the children where they would prefer to live. This does not mean that their wishes will be granted, but only that the judge would like to hear their point of view about their living conditions. Children often reveal the truth of their lives without realizing what they are saying. Talking to the children is extremely important if any indication of abuse has been seen.
Many years ago, mothers were automatically given custody of the children and often, were awarded enough alimony to allow them to work part time, if at all. These days, both parents are considered for child custody. Courts will award custody to the parent who offers the best situation for the children.
If you are currently involved in a divorce and require legal guidance, before you spend thousands of dollars in legal fees, check out our ebook “The Father’s Child Custody Handbook.” This ebook shares the information you need to know when fighting for custody of your children – what the different types of custody are, how to gain custody of your children and what challenges you might have to face during a custody battle. Grab your copy here.