Do Family Courts in TN Rule in Favor of the Mother?
While mothers are not always automatically granted child custody during a divorce, there are circumstances in which a judge may still favor a mom over a dad.
Historically, mothers were often awarded child custody during a divorce, even though there is nothing in the Tennessee Code that states that mothers are better parents than fathers. This was partly because at that time, there was a bias against fathers that worked in the favor of mothers during child custody hearings. However, these decisions were also made based on societal customs that are still largely in existence today. Family courts will take a number of factors into consideration when making decisions in child custody cases, and these are found below.
Factors Considered in Child Custody Cases
The family courts will take a number of factors into consideration when making decisions on child custody matters. These include:
- The emotional bond, love, and affection that exists between the child and each parent,
- The capability of each parent to provide the child with their basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing,
- The child’s need for stability, with the exception of when child abuse is the reason for a relocation,
- The stability the family unit provides,
- The mental and physical health of the child,
- The child’s previous education,
- The child’s involvement in their community and home life,
- The child’s preference, when they are of a certain age and maturity,
- Any previous history of physical or emotional abuse,
- The character of the people that live in a parent’s home and the way in which those individuals interact with the child, and
- The capability of each parent to be a loving and supportive parent and promote a healthy relationship between the child and each parent
A judge will not take gender into consideration when making a decision in child custody cases. Instead, they will only consider what is in the best interests of the child.
Consideration of the Primary Caregiver
A family law judge will consider which parent has acted as the primary caregiver for the child during the marriage. Traditionally, this was the mother because it was women that stayed home to raise children while the husbands went out to work and earn a living that supported the household. Today, that is not necessarily always the case.
More women are becoming breadwinners for their household while men are staying home to take care of the children. Regardless of the gender of the parent that stayed home to raise the children, a judge will take the primary caregiver’s role into consideration, and they will weigh that factor quite heavily.
Call My Tennessee Family Law Firm for Help with Your Case
Child custody is the most difficult aspect of any divorce that involves children. If you are going through a divorce that will involve child custody hearings, I am a Tennessee family lawyer who is here to help. I am Judy A. Oxford, Attorney at Law, and I can explain the child custody laws of the state, how they apply to your case, and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call me today at 615-791-8511 or fill out the online form to schedule a free initial consultation so I can get started on your case.