As a father, am I less likely to get custody of my child?

It is a well-known fact that in the past, mothers have perennially been awarded sole custody of children much more often than fathers in divorce cases. This has led to a somewhat misguided perception that the courts favor mothers more, and that there is a gender bias toward women in the courtroom. Even if this were true once, it is certainly not the case any longer.

The truth is that courts simply do what is in the best interests of the child, and the fact is that in many instances, mothers have been better suited to caring for the child than the father. The good news is that if you are afraid that your spouse will be awarded primary custody of your child in the divorce, you can build a compelling case to prove that your involvement is in the child's best interests. You may even get primary or sole custody.

A simple checklist can go a long way in determining who is more likely to get custody of a child during a divorce, as the parent who has taken more direct, physical care of a child will be perceived as better suited to caring for the child. For example, if one parent has done most of the feeding, dressing, bathing and meal preparation for the child, they will have a strong argument for custodial rights.

All across the country, courts are beginning to acknowledge the importance of both parents in a child's life, and this is true in Florida as well. If you are going through or considering a divorce, it is in your best interests to meet with an attorney and learn how you can make a stronger case for your custodial rights.

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Amy L. Beauchaine, Attorney at Law
505 Maitland Ave. Suite 1150
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