Is There a Gender Bias in Custody Court?


Is There a Gender Bias in Custody Court?

A frequently asked question about custody cases is whether there is a gender bias in custody court. People wonder if a mother will get custody rather than a father based solely on the fact that she is the child(ren)’s mother.

The custody statute, which was modified in 2011, is expressly gender neutral. The court is not permitted to make their decision based on gender. Instead, the court analyzes 16 enumerated factors to determine what custodial arrangement is in the best interest of the child(ren). The factors include which party is more likely to maintain a stable, consistent, and nurturing relationship with the child(ren) adequate for their emotional needs, which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational, and special needs, the parental duties performed by each party on behalf of the child(ren), and the attempts of a parent to turn the child(ren) against the other parent.

An analysis of these factors is designed to ensure that the custodial arrangement that is decided upon by the court serves the child(ren’s) best interests rather than the court making a decision on gender or any other arbitrary factor.

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About the author

About Alicia Fastman

Alicia Fastman graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, then went on to complete her Juris Doctorate at the Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, DE. Alicia graduated from law school with pro bono distinction, completed a Certificate in Criminal Law, and focused her intensive studies within the fields of litigation and trial advocacy. Alicia joined LaMonaca Law in April of 2011 and is a Partner at the firm. She was selected as a Top Lawyer in Main Line Magazine in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019 in the areas of Family Law and Divorce and has been named as a Best Lawyer in the areas of Adoption and Trial in the Delaware County Daily Times. Alicia is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, and is a member of the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Delaware County Bar Associations. Alicia resides in Delaware County with her dog, Leonard. In her time outside of the courtroom or office, she enjoys creating art, listening to podcasts, and spending time with friends and family.