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Gender bias in custody cases

When parents in California divorce, one major consideration is child custody. If there is conflict over where the kids should live, parents may seek mediation or other efforts to come to an agreement. When these efforts fail, the courts may have to determine what is in the best interests of the children. Many people believe that the courts are unfairly biased against fathers in custody cases.

While there has long been a history of awarding custody of children to mothers in U.S. family courts, times have changed. Fathers have often stepped up and requested fair treatment by family courts. This includes being considered for full or joint custody as well as significant parenting time.

Still, many people believe that fathers may be the victims of bias in child custody and visitation cases. This is because judges, lawyers and mental health practitioners may believe that fathers are not adequate to the job of caring for children. These biases may taint cases in which a father with strong parenting skills and a good relationship with his children wishes to assume full or primary physical custody.

Some experts recommend that fathers who wish to assert their rights document time spent with their children. This documentation could include information about the kind of daily parenting chores that fathers complete, such as getting the kids dressed, ensuring that they are fed and taking them to school or activities. In addition, the father could note appearances at doctors appointments, school conferences and extracurricular activities such as sports.

Parents who are concerned about child custody issues may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the client's case and make recommendations regarding issues such as child custody, support, parenting time and custody modifications.

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