Do women automatically have better chances of getting custody?

As a father, one thing you're likely worried about is a mother's right to custody over your own. You know that in the past, people often thought that women were better caretakers than men. As a result, there was an unintentional bias in the courts that saw many children going with their mothers despite having fathers who were equally invested in their futures.

Today, the reality is that no parent has an edge over the other when a case starts. Your gender does not make a difference, but the role you play in your child's life does. Here are a few things that could make it harder for men to obtain custody, so you can think of ways to respond to any concerns from the courts.

1. Men tend to work more

Although the tide is changing, men still work more than women in the majority of cases. Women tend to be stay-at-home mothers, while men tend to be the breadwinners. This isn't always the case, but for a typical nuclear family, it is. If you are in a situation where you work long hours to support your family, you may not have as much time to spend with your child. That may not necessarily reflect badly on you as a parent, but logistically, it would raise questions about how you'd make time for your child. You need to dispel any concerns regarding your ability to be home for your child.

2. Men don't know how to care for children

This is simply a myth that no court should allow to impact your case. However, one thing you should be able to do is show that you understand how to take care of your child by participating in his or her life regularly. Rearing a child isn't easy, and parents who are rarely home do have less practice than a parent who is with children all the time.

3. Men can't be as nurturing as mothers

This is not the case, either, although the social constructs in the United States do encourage men to be more aggressive or strict with their sons than daughters. Today, things are changing, and stay-at-home fathers are a reality. There are many men who are just as nurturing, loving and compassionate as mothers, just as there are mothers who are cold and who appear uncaring.

Each situation should be judged on a case-by-case basis. Show why you deserve joint or primary custody with good evidence, and you should have the same chance of obtaining it as a mother.

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