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Unspoken bias: How fathers fare in the judicial system

One of the things you've probably been told by at least one person is that there is a bias against fathers in court. The reality is that there may have been a bias in the past, but parents are equal in the eyes of the court today. The perception used to be that fathers worked and mothers stayed home, so it would be better to keep children with their mothers. Essentially, this wouldn't disturb the status quo.

However, as times have changed, so have gender roles. With more men staying home with children and both parents being likely to have jobs and share responsibilities, it makes sense to treat both mothers and fathers fairly in court. After all, both parents played a role in creating this child or raising this child, so there shouldn't be an automatic bias in favor of one over the other.

There shouldn't be a bias, but is there?

Legally speaking, no. However, there could be perceptions that certain judges have. For this reason, many people work closely with their attorneys to make sure they recognize any behaviors that are biased in court. If one judge is biased in favor of one parent over the other, it's possible to seek that judge's removal from the case.

What myths hurt fathers seeking custody?

It is a myth that fathers aren't as nurturing or loving as mothers, and it's a myth that they won't spend enough time with a child to raise them properly. Fathers are often just as knowledgeable, and sometimes more knowledgeable, than mothers.

In every custody case, it's important to look at the facts instead of myths. What is your situation like? Are you confident raising a child on your own? What kind of schedule do you have? These are all questions that might make a difference in your case.

Courts care about the best interests of your children

In the end, the courts care most about the best interests of your children. The judge wants to know that your child will have time with both parents (unless there are mitigating circumstances), and they'll want to know that your child has a healthy, happy home life. If you and the other parent can both provide happy, safe homes, then there is no reason why there should be any bias against either of you to start with. The court and judge just want to know that your child has the best possible outcome in this situation.

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