Friday, April 1, 2011
Gender bias and fathers' rights in child custody cases
An outdated myth involved in child custody cases is that parenting is instinctive and that it is a unique instinct found only mothers. The misconception that women are more qualified to be good parents places unfair expectations on mothers and the misconception diminishes a father's rights in child custody cases.
Courts are legally obligated to address the best interest of the child during custody cases. However, gender bias has still been known to exist, allowing custody case outcomes to sometimes favor the woman while disregarding the child's best interests.
Countless family lawyers have expressed concern over this issue stating that gender does not dictate the parenting abilities of an individual. Women should not be presumed to be a nurturing caretaker solely based on gender, and men should not be presumed to be emotionally distant or inattentive. Some lawyers have stated that, in child custody cases, the individual skills of the parents are often overlooked in favor of outdated beliefs about gender.
Unfortunately, the visitation rights of fathers can be affected by previous issues with the mother. Family lawyers have reported seeing caring, loving and involved fathers receive constricted visitation rights due to the actions of an aggressive attorney and a bitter ex.
Child custody decisions should always place the best interests of the child first and many fathers are the best possible caregiver for their children. When gender bias plays a role in child custody cases, it damages the lives of children by not considering their best interests.
Attorneys who specialize in advocating for fathers' rights understand the unique difficulties a father can experience in a child custody case. If you are a father who wants to be involved in your child's life, an experienced fathers' rights attorney can help.
Source: The Huffington Post, "The "Y" Factor: Gender Bias, Child Custody And The Great Parenting Myth," David T. Pisarra, 3/28/2011