Do the divorce courts favor mothers in case of child custody?

Do the divorce courts favor mothers in case of child custody?

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Hi Cordell - 

The answer to your question  depends on where you reside.  In California, the Family Law Court believes that children need to have continuing contact with both parents, and grants joint custody to the parents.  That said, it is often the mother who does the major parenting of children.  Learning to co-parent, which is more like a business relationship than a love match, takes effort.  And joint custody doesn't always mean a 50/50 time share.  But studies show that children of divorce do better  when they can move easily between mom's house and dad's house, and when parents can solve their differences without putting the kids in the middle.

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Historically, family courts typically awarded child custody for mother rather than fathers because of a stereotype that women are better suited to caring for children than men. If the child is an infant, the courts may still favor the mother for the sake of breastfeeding and the mother-child bonding that is important to the child's emotional well being. Beyond this, the courts are required to ignore the gender of parents and instead focus on criteria directly linked to the child's best interest. Drug use and abuse, work history, mental illness history, and even each parent's credit score may be taken into account to make sure the child has access to resources that will enable him or her to live the best life possible.

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