Fathers’ Rights: Is There Still Gender Bias in Court?

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | May 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

When making custody determinations, courts over the years have shifted to accommodate diverse families and evolving gender roles. While in the past courts may have favored women as primary caregivers, fathers have gained traction and court mandated support in asserting their roles and legal rights. According to a recent article in Slate Magazine, author Hanna Rosin argues that perhaps the gender bias has shifted in the opposite direction. Is it possible that the pendulum has swung too far in favor of fathers' rights? Are women on the opposite side of favorable law?


Any custody dispute is going to involve a thorough review of the facts and circumstances faced by a family. While courts will look towards a decision that is in the “best interests of the child,” determining what is in fact, “in their best interests,” can be more complicated. Our Birminghamchild custody attorneys are experienced in protecting the rights of Alabama parents who are facing family legal disputes. We understand that every situation is unique and will take the time to understand your concerns and legal objectives. Our priority is to align your rights with the best interests of your children to achieve optimal results through settlement or in court.

Some fathers' groups are working hard to challenge the assumption that mothers should have more legal rights to custody. Where women used to worry about fathers disappearing from their parenting obligations, now they may have to worry about fathers intervening in their custody rights. A recent poll shows people want joint custody for parents, but that most believe that divorce courts still favor women when it comes to assigning sole custody.

According to the Slate article, the revolution of family court has shifted away from the presumption that mothers should have sole custody. Despite this presumption, studies show that with a strategic and experienced lawyer, courts have been just as generous to men. Men's custody cases can range from fathers who are not married to the mother of their children, surrogacy cases, or custody after divorce. For many men, custody cases are also tied to support payments which will require additional legal wrangling by an experienced attorney.

Along with the shifting responsibility of financial income, courts have also shifted the notion that mothers should automatically get custody of their children. Currently, the majority of states favor joint custody arrangements. Some father's rights activists argue that despite advancements in the legal system, courts still show a preference towards women. Regardless of whether you are a woman concerned about your right to custody or a father concerned about bias in courts, both men and women have to be aware of how divorce or custody determinations can impact their rights in the long-term.

Whether studies can show gender or other bias in courts is still up for debate, but the need for an experienced attorney is demonstrated. Any parent who is entering a custody dispute should have their case reviewed by an experienced advocate. Both fathers and mothers can benefit from counsel and strategy of an attorney who can protect their rights and the best interests of their children.

If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama


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