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Biases: Custody and the bias for a mother's care

If you're getting a divorce and are worried about child custody, you may be concerned that the courts rule in favor of mothers receiving custody over fathers. Are custody decisions really made that way, though? Is a bias still in existence?

The fact is that, as of 2011, custody decisions are more likely to be in favor of a mother receiving primary residential custody. There is, however, a heavy movement toward equal residential custody, but primary residential care still seems to fall to mothers. According to an article from 2011, fathers were likely to receive primary custody only 8 to 14 percent of the time with equal custody only 2 to 6 percent of the time.

The perception is that mothers are more likely to obtain custody, even in studies performed in 2011. One study group reported that they felt that mothers would receive equal time with their children in 28 percent of cases, but 47 percent of the time would receive primary residential custody. Those participating in the study showed an overwhelming preference for 50-50 or equal custody, even though they didn't feel that would happen in court.

What's important to know is that your case is individual. Many things have changed in the courts since 2011, and you have every chance to get the custody and visitation schedule or arrangement that you want, particularly if you've been an active and positive influence in your child's life. Don't let the idea of a bias hold back your requests; your attorney can help you negotiate for the time you want with your child.

Source: Huffington Post Divorce, "Are Custody Decisions Biased in Favor of Mothers?," Robert Hughes, accessed Dec. 29, 2015

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