In the 1990s and prior to that, family courts across the nation gave preferential treatment to mothers in child custodycases. In the past 20 years, much has changed, especially in California, which is known for being a progressive state.
These days, California does not give mothers preferential treatment when it comes to child custody. Why? One of the main reasons is the number of women in the workforce. In the 21st Century, a large percentage of mothers are working women. This factor alone has impacted child custody across the country.
Why would a court automatically choose a mother if she works as much if not more than the father? Or, why would the mother get custody when the father has been the children’s primary caregiver while the mother was the family’s breadwinner?
Fathers Sometimes Forget
Despite the fact that California judges give equal consideration to mothers and fathers when there is a child custody conflict, much is settled out of the courtroom between mothers and fathers. The issue is that many fathers are the children of divorce or they don’t realize that the courts and laws have changed in the past 20 years.
Often, fathers don’t realize they have the same right to child custody as their wife, so they give in and let their wives be the custodial parents instead of seeking custody or joint custody. They don’t even try because remembering the way things were, they think they’d be fighting a losing battle, but that is not necessarily the case.
“In California, either parent can have custody of the children, or the parents can share custody. The judge makes the final decision about custody and visitation but usually will approve the arrangement (the parenting plan) that both parents agree on. If the parents cannot agree, the judge will make a decision at a court hearing,” according to the California Courts.
If you’re a father getting a divorce, please contact an attorney at our firm to explore all of your rights and responsibilities. You may have more rights than you think! Contact Burch Shepard Family Law Group today for a case evaluation.