Will Family Courts Always Favor the Mother When Awarding Child Custody?
Are you an apprehensive father facing a custody case and worrying that the courts in Florida might favor their mother just because she is a woman? Many fathers assume that the courts are bound to grant mothers automatic primary child custody, which is called parenting and time-sharing in Florida law. But is that assumption grounded in legal reality? Keep reading to learn the legal facts and contact a Brandon time-sharing attorney lawyer to discuss your specific case.
“Tender Years” Hangovers Versus Current Legal Reforms
Many of the historical rulings of Florida family courts favored mothers over fathers. However, it’s also critical to note that a slow and steady shift has been occurring in the past few decades. Gradually, the courts in Florida have discarded the traditional “tender years” doctrine that favored mothers. This doctrine led judges to grant mothers automatic child custody, assuming they were more qualified to care for children during their “tender” years.
Fortunately, Florida family courts have discarded that biased position to favor the updated and more gender-inclusive Florida parenting and time-sharing law. This statute allows both parents to enjoy equal access to and share enough time with their children when possible. The statute departs from the traditional cost-sharing to the new “time-sharing” approach. Under it, children should enjoy unrestricted regular and continuous contact with their estranged parents.
You can see clearly that the paradigm has shifted to favor children’s best interests, which often means seeing and having continuous relationships with both parents. The new legal framework forbids any gender bias when dealing with child custody cases, which means that judges should never consider giving sole custody to a mother simply because she is a woman.
As you can see, the current statute melts the fears most fathers have. Therefore, such paternal concerns are simply hangovers of the defunct “tender years” era and the resulting erroneous rulings.
When the Courts Seem to Favor Mothers
If current Florida law aims to create a level playing field for both parents, why do mothers still win more custody cases? They don’t win more cases because they are mothers. Here are some of the factors a Florida judge considers when granting the mother primary time-sharing rights:
- The father has a serious substance abuse or addiction problem
- The father was convicted of domestic violence or child abuse
- The father has a busy schedule or frequent business travels that deny him sufficient time to spend with the child
- The father moves too far away from the child
- The kids prefer living with their mother and are old enough to have their preferences considered
Under these circumstances, the courts might favor the father if the situation was the other way around and the mother was the one who has substance abuse issues or who lives far away.
Call a Brandon Time-sharing Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
You are welcome to reach out to the law firm of Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A., to get legal help from a Brandon time-sharing attorney today. You can contact us online or call 813-654-3444 now.