One of the most hotly contested issues in family law is child custody. When the court is faced with a child custody issue, its main focus is the well-being of the child. But does the “best interest of the child” mean that the child should spend more time with his or her mother?
Child Custody More Often Awarded to Women
There is a general belief that family law courts award more custody time to mothers in child custody cases. It’s difficult to say why this generalization has developed, but it is based in fact.
Recent studies estimate that mothers receive primary custody 68-88% of the time, while fathers receive primary custody in only 8-14% of child custody cases. Equal custody is ordered in only 2-6% of cases.1 There was once a presumption that very young children should spend more time with their mothers, but that way of thinking has changed, and many states have created laws to make child custody orders more fair for all parties.2
Should Child Custody Laws Change?
State legislators in several states across the country, including in South Carolina, New York, Washington and Colorado, are all currently considering laws that could make it easier for fathers to gain custody time and visitation rights with their children.3 These proposed changes in law deal mostly with attempting to maximize existing custody laws to give both parents equal time with their children. Some proposals even require judges to give written explanations as to why equal parenting time was not awarded.
Despite a common belief among the general public that women are favored in family law courts, California has not decided to change or update current child custody laws. However, the debate over this issue could eventually lead to change.
Should California update its child custody laws? On one hand, it is difficult to come to conclusions by looking at the statistics currently available. While the numbers may show that women often are granted more custody rights, each case needs to be examined on an individual basis. The circumstances of every case are unique. On the other hand, is the “best interest of the child” standard used in family law courts being achieved? It may not be if it’s in a child’s best interest to spend equal time with each parent.
We’d like to know your thoughts. Please a leave your opinion in the comments below.
Call the Child Custody Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
At Wallin & Klarich, we understand that going through a child custody case is difficult. The laws regarding child custody are complex and there are many factors that go into determining who will be awarded custody of your child. For this reason, it is important that you seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney immediately. Our knowledgeable attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients in child custody cases. Let us help you today.
With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, our knowledgeable attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.
1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-hughes/are-custody-decisions-bia_b_870709.html href=”#ref1″>↩
2. http://www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/for-men/divorce-for-men-why-women-get-child-custody-over-80-time href=”#ref2″>↩
3. http://www.wsj.com/articles/big-shift-pushed-in-custody-disputes-1429204977 href=”#ref3″>↩