Many people assume that mothers have the upper hand over fathers in custody battles, but this is not always the case.
In this article, we’ll go over why many assume that the mother always gets custody, how things are different today, and what judges really consider when granting custody rights.
Let’s get started!
Why many assume mothers get custody
In the past, mothers were almost always the primary caregivers of their children. So it made sense to give them custody (instead of giving it to fathers).
Plus, for many decades family law followed the “tender years” doctrine, which dates back to the late 19th century and states that children need their mother during their early, developmental years. Most fathers didn’t contest.
But today, there are no laws that codify a gender preference in who should gain custody over a child. And while it’s true that historically mothers were nearly always guaranteed to win custody battles, this is increasingly no longer the case.
How things are different today
Now that more women enter (and excel in) the workforce, the idea that they are always the primary caretaker no longer holds.
Some couples share equal responsibility in taking care of the kids and providing. In some households, women are even the main breadwinner. Since 1967, the share of breadwinning or co-breadwinning mothers has more than doubled.
What this means for custody battles is that fathers are often just as good, if not better, at taking care of their children. As a result, many men are being awarded full or equal split custody.
That said, the mother is often still favored in custody battles that involve very young children. For example, if a baby relies on the mother for breastfeeding, she will more than likely gain custody. However, if the infant is bottle-fed, a father may have just as good a chance at winning custody since they can do the job just as well.
It all depends on what the best interests of the child are.
What the judge considers when granting custody
To determine how to split custody rights, a judge will take many factors into consideration. Here are just a few:
- Which parent is most able to provide a safe and stable environment for the child?
- Which parent can provide for the child financially and physically in terms of essentials, like food, shelter, medical care, clothes, and so on?
- What is the state of each parent’s mental health, criminal record, and personal habits?
- Where does the child want to live?
- How old is the child and do they have special physical or mental needs?
- Will the child have to move and adjust to a new city, school, friends, and quality of life?
- Did either parent bring false or malicious charges of child abuse against the other? Is either motivated to gain custody only to lash out at the other parent?
- What is the child’s relationship like to each parent? Has either parent ever abandoned the child?
The list goes on, but you get the idea. When parents fight over custody rights, the judge weighs all the factors above to determine where the child would do best.
The final verdict
At the end of the day, child custody decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. Most result in partial custody to both parents, but not always.
On average, mothers are still granted around 65% of custody time, while fathers are given around 35%.
Whether you are a father or a mother trying to win custody rights, try to maintain a civil and respectful relationship with the other parent at all times. Being vengeful will only hurt your case. Be sure to maintain a positive relationship with your child as well.
Lastly, it pays to consult an experienced family law attorney who can help you know your rights and give you the best chance of winning custody over your child.
Top 6 Investments for Your Child’s Future
If you’re looking to give your child a head start in life, there’s no better way than investing in their future with some wise choices. From saving for a college education to teaching them the importance of financial literacy, there are plenty of ways to help them gain the skills they need for successful adulthood. Here are six great investments you can make now that will provide dividends in the future:
Financial literacy is a critical skill that will remain valuable for life, and you should start teaching your child as early as possible. Not only can this help them understand basic concepts such as budgeting, saving, and responsible spending habits, but it can also increase their confidence when dealing with their finances. Encourage your children to save a portion of the money they receive, and show them how to make smart investments, such as opening up a savings account.
Positive Role Models
The people your kids look up greatly influence their lives, especially during their formative years. That’s why it’s crucial to be a good role model and surround them with positive role models who embody values such as honesty, hard work, and integrity which your children can learn from or aspire to emulate. This includes friends, family members, teachers, and mentors. Exposing your children to such people can help them broaden their horizons and see the world differently.
A Good Education
Investing in your child’s educational journey from elementary school to college will open doors to careers and opportunities they may not have had before. To save your child from the debt that comes with post-secondary education in Canada, start early and put into an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan). This is a special type of investment account specifically designed to save for college expenses. It is essential to understand the structure and features of the plan and how it works to maximize your savings.
Quality Family Time
Set aside family time and special activities such as cooking, playing board games, or taking nature walks. This allows your children to bond with each other and explore the world around them. Investing in quality family time will provide endless opportunities for growth, learning, and development, setting your children up for a bright future. Spending time with your little ones will also create lasting memories that will stay with them forever. It will also teach them valuable skills such as communication and conflict resolution.
Investing in life insurance ensures your child’s future financial security. Not only will it protect them in case something unexpected happens, but it can also be used as an investment tool if you opt for the right policy. With the right plan, you can maximize the money your child will receive by providing them with a secure financial future should anything happen to you or your partner.
Mental Health Support
Life isn’t always easy; sometimes, your kids need extra help navigating life’s journey’s ups and downs. Mental health support takes many forms, from therapy sessions with psychologists or psychiatrists to mindfulness techniques like meditation. Supporting children during difficult times allows them to process emotions more effectively so they are better prepared for adulthood when life throws curveballs. With the rise of mental health issues in today’s society, it is vital to invest in your child’s mental health and ensure they have the right support system.
These are just a few top investments you can make for your child’s future. Whatever strategies you choose, remember that each has its benefits, from immediate gratification to long-term financial security. Investing in your child’s future will give them the skills and resources they need to live a successful, fulfilling life.
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