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Do courts show bias towards mothers in determining custody?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2023 | Family Law

Child custody matters are some of the most emotionally fraught and complex decisions that family courts deal with. When determining which parent will be awarded physical or legal custody, judges must consider who can best provide for the child’s financial and emotional needs. 

Despite this, many parents believe there is an inherent bias toward granting mothers preferential treatment when deciding on these sensitive custody issues. 

Truth versus myth

Historically, mothers were perceived as the primary caregivers of children, and this concept may have influenced child custody decisions at one time. But today’s reality is much different. In 2018, Kentucky became the first state to make “joint custody” the default option when parents separate. However, the judge does have the discretion to rule against that in some instances, such as domestic abuse.

In addition, Kentucky family courts have adopted the practice of “One family, one court, one judge,” which seeks to provide continuity and consistency in cases involving families. The program aims to ensure that all matters related to a particular family are handled by the same judge in the same court rather than being split between different courts or judges.

This approach allows the judge to become familiar with the family’s circumstances and history, which can help to improve outcomes for the family. The program also promotes collaboration between family court judges, attorneys, and other professionals to ensure that families receive the support they need, resulting in better outcomes.

If you have questions about your rights as a parent in a Kentucky family court case, it is important to understand your options and protect your legal rights.