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Are Women More Likely to Have Custody of the Children?

Kid playing with finger paint, smiling and laughing

Statistically speaking, the answer is yes. According to the 2013 United States Census, 82.5% of custodial parents were women. Only one out of every six custodial parents were men. This may seem like a long-standing trend, but the number of custodial men has drastically increased over the past fifty years. So, why is it that women typically receive custody of their children?

We’ll uncover some of the reasons why a Tennessee court may decide to give custody of your child to either their mother, father or split custody. One of the main deciding factors is whether or not the custody agreement has your child’s best interests in mind.

Child’s Best Interests

Years ago, it was presumed that a child should stay with their mother after a split or separation of their parents. However, courts now agree that placing custody should depend on the child’s best interests. The court can use different techniques and strategies to determine the best custody agreement in every case.

A court can award a father full physical or legal custody. Every case is different, and having skilled, experienced lawyers on your side can help you achieve your custody goals. Creating the best environment for your child is most important.

Primary Caregiver

One important thing a judge will consider when determining custody is who has historically been the primary caregiver for your child. Who has taken care of your child on a daily basis? Fed them? Sheltered and clothed them? Brought them to school, daycare, or elsewhere? The parent who historically has been able to provide the best for the child has a good chance at becoming the custodial parent.

However, it’s helpful to know that once a custody agreement is in place, it’s not set in stone. It’s pretty standard for people to change custody agreements every 2-3 years or after significant life events such as a new job, a relocation, or other legal allegations.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that not just one factor contributes to child custody. A judge likes to see all sides and the complete picture surrounding your child’s life. It’s not always easy to immediately determine your child’s best interests, so multiple court hearings, petitions, and appeals may have to occur over time to find the best solution for you and your child.

Our Tennessee & Kentucky attorneys at Peterson White, LLP are here to help you navigate complex family law challenges. Call us at (855) 919-4124 to schedule a complimentary consultation.