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Does My Gender Play a Role in a Best Interest Determination?

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

If you are a father interested in custody of your children, you may feel hopeless and that seeking custody is a lost cause. This is natural, as the concept of maternal preference in child custody proceedings, also known as the “tender years doctrine,” has existed since the nineteenth century. Under this doctrine of maternal gender preference, it was believed that children should be with their mother during their formative years (generally from age 0 to 4). In fact, these laws lasted well into the twentieth century in this country and until the 1970’s in North Carolina. The Best Interest of the Child Standard Does Not Give Gender Preference to Mothers In 1977, the state shifted to the “best interest of the child” standard, which makes no presumption about whether a …