View Post

Are Mothers Given Custody Preference Over Fathers?

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

  When it comes to child custody matters, many people presume that mothers automatically get the children. In fact, many fathers feel discouraged or that fighting a custody proceeding is a lost cause because they won’t get a fair opportunity from the legal system to actually obtain custody of their children. While it is important to understand why there is some historic truth underlying this belief, it is equally important to understand that maternal preference is not the law. The “Tender Years” Doctrine Prior to the nineteenth century, the law in Britain automatically gave children to their fathers when parents divorced. This wasn’t based on the children’s best interest, but was more due to women’s lack of legal rights at the time. The law changed when Caroline Norton, a well-known …