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Divorcing couples face numerous challenges when ending a marriage in Arkansas. In matters centering on the children, however, fathers have historically been worried about gender bias in the courtroom. Their only interest is getting time with their children, not having to fight a system set up to give the children to one parent regardless of the situation.

The good news is that today’s judicial system is not biased in the way it may have been in the past. Historically, you might have seen more mothers walking away with custody, even though it was fathers who would be better caregivers. In some cases, even when shared custody was acceptable, judges would still rule in the favor of the mother.

Today, that’s not how it is. The courts are not inherently biased when it comes to custody decisions. In many circumstances, there are statistics that might favor a mother gaining custody, but every situation is different. The courts must carefully examine numerous factors from earning potential to familial support to the wishes of the children. There is no single factor that outweighs the others, so it is crucial for each parent to present themselves in the best light possible.

What can you do if you want to obtain custody?

Regardless of your gender, the best way to obtain the custody arrangements that you want is to provide evidence about why that plan is the best for your children. For example, if you want to share custody because you and the other parent have alternating work schedules, the judge would likely also be in favor. Similarly, if you are a stay-at-home father, they’d likely support the continued wish to be the primary custodian while the mother has visitation when she is not working.

Families in America have changed in the last few decades, so there’s no question that every custody case has to be looked at independently. Your case will involve much more than just looking at your gender. The court has to look at how your child’s life has been and will be when living with either, or both, parents. At the end of the day, the judge’s decision is based on what will be best for your child (or children).

Kids come first in custody cases, so do what you can to prepare your evidence and support for custody. If you’re working toward your child’s best interests, it will show.