I hear this question all the time; “Why does the judge always side with the mother? Why do the courts hate fathers?”. The answer is never a simple one; there are a lot of factors. Historically, courts have tended to lean more towards the mother than the father. Statistics show us that there are more single mothers out there than single fathers, but you don’t need a statistic to tell you that. This is one of the reasons a judge might begin the proceeding already having a disposition, unconscious or not, to side with the mother’s wishes. While there is evidence supporting this, it’s more complicated than that.
The World Is Changing.In this new age of instant communication, access to information and the rise of new job markets and careers, more and more women are taking on full time careers and stay at home moms are becoming fewer. It’s not the mother’s sole responsibility to take care of the children however. This bias is dangerous and has the potential to create a negative image about how a family is supposed to operate. The role of the father is a significant one. It took two of you to make the child, and it definitely takes two of you to raise the child.
Children Need Structure. It is well documented that large portions of jail and prison youth populations are those that come from homes with absent fathers or mothers. In some cases this can lead to youths “acting out”, as they say, in an effort to find their identity. This lack of structure is a leading cause in youth violence, crime and premature sexual activity. Nobody is saying that having a mother and father together in a family will stop kids from committing acts of violence or having sex too early, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Pointing The Finger Doesn’t Solve The Problem. Judges aren’t the only ones with a bias towards the mother or the father. A mother could find herself on the receiving end of accusations of turning a child against their father by putting ideas into their head. A father could find himself in a similar position where a mother is accusing him of abuse or neglect. It’s the idea that they should have custody or visitation or more child support and the other parent shouldn’t because of mistrust. Unfortunately, sometimes accusations like these are true. However, false accusations to get what you want, even if you believe it is in the child’s best interest, take away from what the right outcome should be.
Doing The Right Thing. Raising a child is hard, but raising a child without the other parent makes it harder on the child. Legal experts as well as professional psychologists agree that growing up without a father figure causes damage in a child’s life and the same goes for kids growing up without mothers. Having a ruling to keep the other parent out of the child’s life is a serious decision. That decision needs to be well thought out and should be a last resort. The ideal outcome is one that benefits your kids. Sacrificing their childhood is not a means for a good end. Obviously biased court systems are a bad thing but bias between parents on who is better suited to raise a child is worse. It takes teamwork and planning. As a parent, it’s your job to make sure they grow up to be better and smarter than us. That’s the only way we’re going to get anywhere. Think carefully, work together and put the child first. Don’t let them become a victim of court bias.