Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Are fathers facing bias in family court?

It has long been said that fathers get treated badly in family courts in Massachusetts. There are many people who believe that dads do not get the same level of respect for their involvement in their children's lives. It is even thought that courts automatically award custody to mothers unless the fathers can prove they are unfit. These are outdated ideas and not likely what is actually happening in family court.

According to Slate, family courts in previous decades operated on the idea that families generally were structured with dad working and earning a living for the family while mom stayed home and took care of the kids. That was how things worked back then, but it is no longer true, and the courts realize that. Courts now seek to find a good balance. They now know that by awarding custody to only one parent, it is detrimental to the children. 

Courts are most likely to avoid bias based on gender and work with you to figure out a joint custody agreement. They want you and the mother involved equally or as equally as possible in your children's lives. 

However, bias is not completely gone. The remaining bias in family court is related to money. Fathers who can afford high priced representation will often come out better in court. This is especially true if you and the child's mother were never married. 

So, while you probably do not have to worry about bias just because you are dad and not mom, you may still have issues if you do not have much money to put towards your case. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

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