Is There A Custody Bias?


Let’s talk frankly here: as I’ve mentioned before, Judges are human and each has their own life history and experiences that might influence the factors they must consider when determining what custody arrangement is in a child’s best interest.

The court cannot give someone custody based on the fact that that person is a mother or a father.

Whether or not bias exists in the courts is anyone’s guess and it is not something you or I can control. Your focus should be on building a strong case and putting together sufficient, high-quality evidence to support your position, rather than expending energy worrying about something completely outside of your control.

For decades, there was a widely held belief that children should have one parent home as the primary caretaker, often the mother. But that status quo is changing. Maryland law prohibits judges from making a presumption or inference that favors a mother or father in a custody case. Many experts now agree that kids are happier and healthier with both parents present in their lives: this is case for joint custody.

However, sometimes the only agreeable custody situation is for children to live with one parent to spend time with the other. Angelina Jolie, for example, is willing to give Brad Pitt visitation rights to their children. But experts say that kind of arrangement can cause “Disney parent” or “Uncle Dad” syndrome, when one parent is seen more as a relative to play with than as an authority figure; as a result, the other parent has a harder time working on the long-term developmental benefits of child-rearing.

So if joint physical custody is the recommended option for children, why isn’t it more common? Some cite judicial bias, arguing that because mothers have historically been the primary caregiver, they have an advantage over fathers in custody hearings. Others suggest this is the way many dads want it. Parents also have to be able to communicate frequently and cordially for the arrangement to be beneficial, which not all divorcing couples manage to do.

If you have a custody situation that needs to be resolved, please contact The Koslow Law Firm.


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