Parental Preferance in Child Custody is a common concern for parents in child custody cases. Many people try to avoid custody battles in fear that one parent will be preferred over another due to gender or financial status. While this may appear to play a role in custody awards, this is not as prevalent as it was in the past. Any fit parent genuinely fighting for custody and visitation, will likely win on some aspects of custody. If you have questions on parental preference in child custody cases, this article will explain more.
Doctrines of Preferance in Custody
Past Legal Doctrine
Parental Preferance in Child Custody was once found in The “tender years” doctrine. This doctrine is a relatively archaic and not a part of todays parental preference in child custody law. Basically, this states that a mother receives custody of children who are in their tender years (i.e. under 10 years old). Custody automatically went to the mother in these cases. Fathers who wanted custody faced an up-hill battle in their fight. The only way to get custody was showing that the mother was highly unfit to raise the children.
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Current Legal Doctrine
Today, courts rarely if ever recognize the tender years doctrine due to Title 43 §112. Therefore, for Parental Preferance in Child Custody cases the court now considers a set of factors relating to the best interests of the child. These are:
- Amount of quality time a parent can devote to a child.
- Stability of the home environment.
- The custodial parent’s openness to the child having a relationship with the non-custodial parent.
- Relationships of other relatives in the home with the child (i.e. grandparents, step-parents)
- Amount of encouragement the child has to build a relationship with extended family.
Further, the court uses the best interest of the child standard to determine the final custody decision. This means that gender, finances, and private vs. public schooling is not a factor the court considers by law.
Creek County Custody Attorneys
Our family law attorneys understand the apprehension of a custody battle and preference in custody fears. We can fight for your rights to visit and retain custody of your children. Call our offices if you have questions or need legal support. 918.209.3709 Your first consultation is free.