Georgia fathers may find themselves afraid that they will experience bias if they go to family court to resolve their child custody and support issues. Some dads stay in unhealthy relationships because they are afraid of losing custody of their children while others do not seek custody because they assume the mother will receive preference by default. While historically, mothers were often favored in child custody proceedings, modern family law recognizes the importance of both parents’ involvement in a child’s life. In fact, fathers who actively seek custody are more likely to be successful than mothers in court.
In the past, gender stereotypes and socially imposed roles were also reflected in family court. Mothers were seen as more nurturing and caring, the natural parent to raise a child. In addition, fewer women worked outside the home and often only in cases of necessity. Primary child custody being awarded to the mother was almost assumed in advance except in cases of clear unfitness. Fathers might receive only sparse visitation with their children as their primary contribution to their children’s development was presumed to be financial. Time without the children would give them more space to develop their careers.
Family courts in the present day, however, tend to strongly favor joint custody or other shared situations, including extensive visitation when work schedules make 50/50 custody unworkable. Of course, fathers may still have reason to be concerned about facing an old-fashioned judge despite the mountains of scientific research showing that kids benefit from a close relationship with both parents.
As a result, fathers can prepare the best for their child custody hearings by accumulating evidence of their close parent-child relationships and showing their commitment to co-parenting. A family law attorney may help fathers secure a fair child custody order or modify an existing arrangement.