ADDRESSING MALE GENDER STEREOTYPES IN THE COURTS
Aug. 8, 2023
Divorce is not frequently a neat transaction that is quickly resolved. Unfortunately, more than not, the process usually involves a lot of back-and-forth negotiations. And when children are involved, there are custody and child support considerations to hammer out.
Traditionally, for dads seeking fair settlements related to their children, certain gender stereotypes have often placed males at a disadvantage.
If you are a father going through a divorce, an experienced family law attorney will have the requisite knowledge and skill to address potential biases in the court that could ultimately deprive you of a favorable outcome in your case.
Gender Stereotypes and the Courts
For years conventional gender roles in society placed limitations on both sexes – in the workplace, in sports, and the home. These gender roles assigned certain activities and abilities as either male or female. In family life, men were ascribed as the breadwinners, and women were the homemakers. Because this is a position that became entrenched in the fabric of our culture, it set men up to be viewed as less capable parents than their female counterparts.
How Biases Affect Fathers
Unfortunately, the court system has not been immune to the influence of gender stereotypes when it comes to rendering impartial judgments for men, specifically when children are involved.
Historically, because a greater proportion of parents who stayed at home were women, it was automatically assumed that women were more suited to raising children, and they were deemed the 'warm and caring' parent. Conversely, men were regarded as the parents who supplied the income and were not qualified to attend to matters in the home, including being nurturing parents.
These beliefs have created a culture that has permeated the justice system, frequently leading to lopsided rulings in favor of women simply because of faulty assumptions. This has resulted in kids having less access to their fathers, at times being alienated from this parent, and has left dads fighting for the opportunity to be an active part of their children's lives.
Moving Beyond the Stereotypes
Many of the conditions that gave rise to such stereotypes are changing. Women and mothers have become progressively more active in the workforce. The number of fathers who work from home has increased, and many dads are also taking on more of the traditional responsibilities associated with the home, such as household chores and caring for the children.
Still, these stereotypes continue to persist to some degree in society and the courts, to the detriment of fathers and children. Yet fathers are equally capable as women of being loving, competent parents. Therefore, it is time that the courts recognize how our culture has evolved and begin to act accordingly when it comes to the decisions it makes.
How a Qualified Family Law Attorney Can Help
Although we are now more familiar with gender stereotypes and the harmful consequences, men going through divorce still need someone who can help them navigate this issue.
A skilled family law attorney will be aware of the particulars involved in such cases. Your lawyer will serve as your advocate and will work with you to develop a strategy that will ensure your rights as a father are protected.
As a dad, you deserve to have equal time with your children and the opportunity to continue to play an important role in their lives. Maybe you are in the midst of a divorce, or you are unhappy with a previous settlement. Whatever your situation, I would love to speak with you. I firmly believe that fathers should have access to their children and I have been fighting for the rights of dads just like you for over ten years! Please give my office a call today to schedule a consultation.