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.