Do women have an advantage for child custody in a divorce? 27 Answers as of June 24, 2011

I heard from a friend that women tend to have the advantage for child custody in a divorce. Is this true? I want to be prepared.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
The law says, "no," my experience says, "yes," particularly true, the younger the child. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/24/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Historically, women, seen as "nurturers of children",have had the upper hand in child custody matters, but in recent times, the Courts have recognized that fathers can be good parents too, and have been more liberal in awarding custodial rights to fathers. The specific facts of your relationship with your children and your spouse, and your spouse's relationship with your children and you, would bear on the Court's determination of custody.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/21/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
From a historical perspective this statement has held true.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/20/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Yes, in my opinion, it usually is the case,but I have heard many, many tales of men getting the children regardless of that. Consult with a local matrimonial expert ASAP and be prepared.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/17/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
There is no "tender years" doctrine in CT and by law neither has an advantage.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/16/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    While many believe that, in the past, women tended to be favored in custody matters, many now believe that fathers, in a number of cases, can successfully obtain child custody, if the facts warrant it. We have been successful. You should discuss all the facts concerning why you would make a better custodial parent with your own divorce attorney. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    It is possible that, statistically, mothers have the advantage in custody cases. Not because they are women, however, but because the traditional differences in the parenting roles of men and women are vastly different. If the mother has been the primary caretaker while the father is off working and spending little time being a parent, it isn't difficult to decide where the children should continue to live after divorce. The child's best interest is the deciding issue. Many factors are considered in deciding best interests, but the basic premise is that it is not a one parent or the other argument. Both parents need to be involved in parenting and question is how that responsibility and privilege is to be shared
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law there is no gender advantage. However, one of the factors the court looks at is which parent has been providing the majority of the care for the children, and because in our society that is more often the mother, there may be an assumption, absent evidence to the contrary, that the mother has been the primary care provider in a particular case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Well, that was the old way of doing things. I do not believe that women are preferred even though there is still some of that going around. It is usually the primary parent that the court prefers. Now, that still tends to me the mother but not always.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Absolutely not. The Golden Rule in Texas is "best interest of the child" nothing else matters and in fact the Texas Family Code specifically states that marital status, gender, etc. are not to be considered. Too often Dad's believe that women have an advantage and give up on custody too easy. The Court may not give custody to Mom just because she is Mom. So, if you love your kids and can provide a safe, stable, and loving home, go for custody. If you are filing in Dallas or Collin County, please give me a call, I have more information for you and would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    In theory, there should be no difference based on gender as to who gets custody. However, there are times when the theory does not match the reality. One of the criteria that the court is supposed to consider in deciding where to place the children is: with which parent are the children more bonded. If you are in a stereotypical household where the husband works all day and the wife cares for the children, then, almost automatically, depending on age, the children are likely to be more bonded with the mother. So, it does work out at times that the woman has an advantage.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Not any more.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Today in most circumstances in Ohio and Michigan, the courts strongly prefer a shared parenting program. Please check with your local domestic relations attorney for the circumstances in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    The law is, technically, that both parents have equal rights. And father's have made leaps and bounds in the past few years regarding having equal timesharing with their children. That said, typically the Mother will still have more time with the children, and the father will have somewhere between 40-45% of the time (of course, this depends on a lot of factors and assumes that everything else is equal between the parties and that an equal timesharing schedule is even feasible). You should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible in order to fully discuss your potential rights and options. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available. If you would like to coordinate a free initial telephone consultation, please contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Generally, yes. But each family is different. A lot depends on the law of the state that you live in. Do you live in New Jersey? Or does the other person live in New Jersey? If so, I can help, and you should contact me.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    It is true that women have traditionally been favored in the area of child custody. However, the past few years have seen more emphasis on the importance of children spending time with both parents.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    It is nor true that females have an "advantage". The fact is that most of the time it is the female who has had the history of primary care for the child. The issue before the court is the "best interest of the child". Gender of the parent is not relevant, legally. In any custody battle it is foolish to attempt litigation without competent legal counsel unless you do not care if you lose time with your child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Not necessarily. Many factors play into a custody decision including work schedules, ability to parent, and most important, the best interests of the children. You should consult with an attorney concerning this to flesh out the issues more.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Komanapalli Massey LLP
    Komanapalli Massey LLP | Mark A. Massey, Esq.
    In California, the presumption is that it is in the best interests of children to share time with each parent equally, and that neither parent is better suited to be a parent than the other. Starting from that premise,we begin to rebut the presumption with facts. For instance,if one parent stayed home and took care of the children while the other went to work every day to bring home the bacon, at least while the kids are young, it might be in their best interests to continue spending the bulk of their time with that parent who had been staying home with them and caring for them every day. That does not mean that she(and I say she because it is almost always the mother/woman who stays at home while the father/man works) that the mother should have more than 50% of the kids' time. Courts will attempt even in those circumstances to work schedules out so that each parent gets equal time as much as possible. So, in the illustative situation I have described, the court might allow the mother to keep the kids during the work weeks, allow dad to keep them every weekend and some weekday overnights, and so on. So, in short,no, it is not true that women are favored any longer as a rule. I think we can thank those many angry fathers who got screwed by the courts and the laws too many times, organized into political factions, and caused the laws and biases favoring women to change by applying serious political pressure upon our legislature and courts. One would expect that the men would have made the rules to favor men, and that today, with women holding legislative offices as much as men and being at least equally involved in making the rules, that that the presumptions would favor mothers. Alas, when women pushed their way into man's world and unseated him from his throne, they lost the good graces of the men and until they run the world entirely, they will never again win favor from men where the rules are concerned. Today, men vote for things men, and women vote for things women. But that is a debate and history lesson far beyond your inquiry. Just thought you might like to know why things were the way they were, and why they have evolved or devolved into what they are today.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    If a judge is impartial, then what you've been told is not true. Child custody should determined based on a child's "best interests," not the gender of a parent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    No. However, society and many marriages have a division of labor along gender lines that put the women in a closer relationship with the children and has them perform more of the parenting functions. If your marriage was so constructed, then the woman has an "advantage".
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Not specifically. The courts are supposed to consider cases based on the best interests of the minor from a gender neutral standpoint.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    In Georgia, neither parent has an advantage because of gender. What the judge will look at, barring any "behavior" issues such as addiction or abuse, is who has been the child's primary caretaker. Even in today's times, this is usually the mother. You need to discuss your case in detail with an attorney in order to determine the viability of your custody case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    Often times, women do have an advantage in custody disputes. However, it is not because the law favors women. It is because the law generally favors the parent that is shown to have been the primary caretaker of the children. For very young children, this is almost always the mother (for obvious reasons). However, I have had cases (even with relatively young children) where the father had been the primary caretaker and was awarded custody. All of those cases involved mothers who had mental health / substance abuse problems. With that said, every case is different and it will always depends on the facts of your particular situation.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    More women than men win custody, but fewer men seek custody. Knowing the general rule does NOT help you prepare at all because custody cases are dependent on the facts in your case, not on statistics.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    This is not true. The only factor the courts are to consider is what is in the best interests of the child. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney