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Are Mothers Favored in Divorce Court?

During a divorce - and specifically when it comes to resolving child custody disputes - courts have, in the past, favored mothers when awarding child custody due to the antiquated tender years doctrine. This legal doctrine has been around since 1800 and states that child custody during their tender years must be granted to mothers unless it can be proven that they are unfit. 

Since 2008, however, Florida has used the children’s best interests standard when determining issues about child custody and visitation.

Divorce Courts Do NOT Favor Mothers

One of the most common divorce myths is that divorce courts always favor mothers. This is due to the fact that, back in the day, mothers were expected to take on the role of primary caregiver, which means that they care for the children, stay at home, and do the household chores. Judges, who were incidentally men, considered the mother’s role as a solid reason to grant them child custody.

These days, however, mothers don’t just stay at home all day, and a lot of them are working women. This is why courts now use the best interest standard when determining custody, which is essentially what’s best for the welfare of the child.

Divorce Courts Usually Favor The Primary Caregiver

When determining child custody, courts will consider which parent is the child’s primary caregiver. This is the parent who’s most qualified to ensure that the child’s needs are met. These qualifications include clothing and feeding the child, accepting parental responsibility, giving medical care, and making sure the child is always in a loving and safe environment.

Both parents share all these tasks in some families. Some families also have mothers that work outside the home and fathers that stay at home and care for the kids. But it’s crucial to note that even though more and more mothers work full-time these days, they’re still more likely to be considered the primary caregiver.

Another vital factor that courts will consider when determining custody is the relationship each parent has with the child. Usually, younger children naturally have stronger bonds with their mothers. This isn’t a reflection of poor parenting on the part of fathers because babies and young kids tend to be more attached to their mothers.

In addition, it’s more common for mothers to take more time off from work to stay home and care for their children while they are still young. Naturally, younger kids will mostly depend on their mothers to meet their basic needs.

Reach Out to an Experienced Florida Divorce Lawyer Now

Filing for divorce is stressful enough as it is, regardless of whether you are a mother or a father. However, it can be even more stressful when kids are involved. No matter your situation, you can count on Brian McMahon, our Florida divorce lawyer, for sound legal guidance about getting a divorce and the issues that may arise when you file for one.

Contact us online or call 561-658-1789 to arrange a free case evaluation with our Florida divorce lawyer.