At one point in time, if a couple divorced, it was all but guaranteed that the mother would get custody of the children. Unless the mother was an alcoholic or a drug addict, it seemed, the father had very little chance to have full or even partial custody of his children. As times have changed, the presumption in Georgia is that both parents will get custody of the children, but that doesn’t mean that fathers are getting their children exactly half of the time.
In many family law courts, there is a gender bias that works against men. Some individuals in the child custody field have said that there are presumptions about men that end up preventing them from truly having equal custody over their children. For example, not many judges would question a stay-at-home mother, but many might wonder why a stay-at-home father isn’t out working and contributing to the family’s finances. Because of this, the court may be hesitant to award the father custody, despite the understanding that a child should spend a majority of his or her time with the primary caregiver.
Any father in Marietta who is struggling to get custody of his children should work with an experienced family law attorney who can help navigate the child custody system. A lawyer can also help to question judges’ presumptions and ensure that situations are presented fairly and without a gender bias.
Another presumption that stands in a father’s way is time spent with children. For fathers who work longer hours than mothers, it is nearly impossible to show that they had just as much parenting time as their former wives. If a father than tries to reduce how much he works in order to spend more time with his children, his ex-wife may say that he is intentionally working less than he can in an attempt to lower child support or alimony payments.
While gender bias may be found in Georgia courts, it is not necessarily impossible to overcome with proper preparation and legal assistance.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Is The Playing Field Level For Men In The Family Court System?” Joseph E. Cordell, July 27, 2012
If you are interested in learning more about fathers’ rights in Georgia, please visit our child custody page.