There are certain stereotypes that persist even to this day surrounding divorce and child custody. One of the assumptions was that, in the past, the mother would receive custody of the child while the father would retain certain visitation rights. This was due to the fact that the court system always assumed that the children were closer to the mother than the father.
Fifty years ago, men were the primary breadwinners of the family while women stayed home and raised the children. This meant that women were more involved in child rearing and that, while money could be replaced with child support, there was no replacement for that time spent caring for the children. Today, child custody disputes are becoming more gender-blind. Why might this be?
More Women are Having Successful Careers
As society has progressed, more women are entering the workforce than ever before. Not only this, but women are having successful careers. Graduate programs such as business, law, and medicine are seeing an influx of women. This has changed the dynamics surrounding families. While there are certainly some women still staying home and raising the kids, some men are doing this as well, leaving the woman as the primary breadwinner. In many families, both parents work. Therefore, the old stereotype surrounding women staying home and raising the children is not valid today. This has changed the court’s perspective when deciding how to award child custody.
The Role of the Father is Now Seen as Important
When people talk about a mother’s love, they are discussing the irreplaceable role of a mother in the lives of her children. Today, this is seen as an equal to the role of the father in the lives of the children. There have been multiple scientific studies that have been released in recent years that have demonstrated that children who grow up with their father in the picture generally grow up to be more socially well-adjusted than children who grow up without a father. The court has started to recognize this important role and has changed their stance when it comes to child custody and the fathers of children.
Divorce is Now Gender-Blind
Because of the changing perspective regarding mothers, fathers, child custody, and divorce, courts are starting to award custody to fathers as well as mothers. For this reason, the old stereotypes surrounding divorce proceedings and child custody are no longer valid. Fathers shouldn’t go in assuming that they’re going to lose custody of their kids and mothers should not assume that the court is going to give them custody of their children. Instead, the court is going to take all of the factors into account when deciding who will be the custodial parent(s).