If you were asked which parent you thought was favored in child custody cases, you would probably say the mother. That’s the way it has been forever. Mothers have always been regarded by the courts as the more nurturing parents, while fathers have been the workers, the ones providing for their families.
Believe it or not, things are changing when it comes to child custody. New research shows that increasingly more, fathers are favored in custody battles. This is true even when abuse has been alleged against the father by the child. The study reviewed 2,000 custody cases across the United States. The cases involved domestic violence, child abuse and alienation.
Maryland is actually trying to change this through the use of empirical data. In the United States, approximately 58,000 children are placed in the custody of an abusive parent every year. Maryland is in the process of creating a legislative panel that will work to combat these family court outcomes. State lawmakers are using evidence to come up with the best recommendations.
In some child custody cases, judges are throwing out evidence showing proof of child abuse. They are quick to blame the mother for alienating the child against their father. In many cases, fathers get 50/50 custody or even full legal custody even though they are being accused of sexual abuse. In fact, the study saw a common pattern of parents being awarded custody of their children even when they are found guilty of abuse.
This is because judges rarely believe claims brought about by young children. In fact, only 1 in 51 children’s claims are substantiated in court. In the past, judges allowed a significant amount of hearsay in child custody cases.
A lot of this hearsay was based on parental alienation. Parental alienation refers to ambivalence or hatred toward one parent, driven by the other parent. It turns a child against a parent, with no justifiable reason to back it up. Parental alienation is pervasive and can be damaging to a child and his or her parents.
Fathers are beginning to learn the tricks. One of them is to accuse the mother of parental alienation. When this happens, a mother is twice as likely to lose custody of her children.
Often, this is because judges use their own personal experiences to guide them in making the right decisions in the courtroom. Sometimes it is a presumed bias; sometimes it is based on culture.
If you have evidence that your child is being abused by the other parent, you need to do what you can to prove your case. Your child’s safety should be your priority.
The Columbia child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can help prove to the court that it is not in your child’s best interest to stay with an abusive parent. Let us help you with your child custody matters. To schedule a consultation, call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form. We have two offices to serve you.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044