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Do Mothers Have an Advantage in Child Custody Proceedings?

There is often an assumption among the general public that mothers have an advantage in child custody proceedings because the court system favors placing children with their mothers rather than their fathers. However, this is not actually the truth. There are no laws that favor mothers over fathers in these circumstances.

This does not mean that children are not placed with their mothers more often than their fathers, merely that there is no legal bias for this situation. The standard used in child custody arrangements is always what is in the child’s best interest.

One of the factors a judge will most often look at is who has been the primary caretaker of the child. Although there are more women working full-time jobs than ever before, it is still more common in American society for women to perform many of the tasks associated with being a child’s primary caretaker. This will weigh on the custody arrangement a judge will establish.

Are there exceptions?

There is one notable circumstance in which the mother may have the custody advantage over the father, and that is when the mother is breastfeeding an infant. In such a scenario, a court might order a temporary custody arrangement in which the father does not have any overnight custody time with the child due to the breastfeeding schedule and sleep routine.

But again, the laws as written do not have any gender preference with regard to custody proceedings.

For more information about child custody laws and processes, contact an experienced St. Paul divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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