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S/O In this day and age...why are so many courts still just auto assigning CP to BM?

Posted by on Apr. 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM
  • 16 Replies

My question is, why in this day and age don't more judges look at actual historical parenting and which home is best for kids rather than just relying on the old "mom is best" idea?

From the time the kids were born, my DH was the primary caregiver when the kids were home.  BM insisted on daycare even though she didn't have a job most of the time.  But when the kids were home, DH was the one giving baths, getting them ready, feeding them, etc as infants, toddlers, wee ones.  BM was gone shopping or hanging with friends.  This is not my DH's account of things, this is from BM.

When BM filed for divorce, my DH was advised by his attorney that the ONE judge in our precinct that handled family cases would ALWAYS grant custodial rights to the mother unless said mother was in jail.  As such, he settled on custody out of court with BM by agreeing to pay her above and beyond normal CS for a 50/50--he essentially agreed to call it CS but it was truly alimony--which FWIW, is not something our state does.

So, that's how MY DH got 50/50 custody.  He paid off BM. 

When I was a kid, I think that my father's generation was the last generation of men who truly didn't feel like it was their JOB to raise kids.  Younger generations of men seem to have a higher rate of involvement.  I know that's not always the case but it seems like rather than look at the facts, many judges still just default to CP=Mom without any consideration. I don't think 50/50 is right for every situation, nor do I think every Dad should be in the running for CP.  But should Mom be the default??

Why is that? 

by on Apr. 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM
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by Still The Queen on Apr. 13, 2014 at 2:09 PM

I don't think they do. I'm in a state that is known for doing 50/50 and you'll still hear people whine that mom's get custody from those who loset custody due to being inept in some manner. My ex fought for 50/50 - I spent thousands on a custody evaluator and months of a custody battle for him to lose a lot of time and for CS to go up (despite what he wanted). The only thing he won was that he could say no to paying for medical treatments over x amount of dollars - so he used that every chance he got and I still did what needed to be done and just paid for it myself. 

I also think there are judges/evaluators who look at everything - does dad want custody now that there is someone there? Did he work long hours, far away during the marriaage? Will it be good for the kids to be taken away from the primary caregiver at this point? (Exchange dad for mom and that happens as well).

I think there are bad court systems as well, but I don't think "auto assign" happens as often as many claim - I think there are reasons behind why mom or dad gets custody and if you've taken it all the way to court someone is going to be looking at your reasons and what is going on and that will go towards deciding custody.

by Platinum Member on Apr. 13, 2014 at 3:16 PM

In our state it's quite a battle for a BD to get custody. He's given EOWE, 4-6 weeks during the summer, every other major holiday, and every Fathers day. If he wants more, he has to prove BM unfit through drug use, CPS proving abuse/neglect, or BM otherwise being out of the picture (jail, abandons the kids and doesn't show up for court, etc)

by Silver Member on Apr. 13, 2014 at 3:20 PM
It's not like that where I live. Each parent is assessed by professionals and a decision is made. Nothing is automatically awarded to a BM in a custody battle.
by Gold Member on Apr. 13, 2014 at 3:26 PM

At work I see a lot of parents- moms and dads - that see it as the other parent's job or a grandparent's job to raise kids. Many just take off and leave the kid somewhere.  

by Gold Member on Apr. 13, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Yet at the same time 50/50 is becoming standard- at least for married couples in our county. And a lot of unmarried ones. 

Quoting Polkadotted:

At work I see a lot of parents- moms and dads - that see it as the other parent's job or a grandparent's job to raise kids. Many just take off and leave the kid somewhere.  

by Gold Member on Apr. 13, 2014 at 3:29 PM
I agree. In Bms state it is next to impossible for a dad to get custody, and moms get an unbelievable amount of slack with the courts.

In our case we spent more on a custody battle than my very nice truck cost. Bm repeatedly denied parenting time, blew off the GAL meetings for five months after he was assigned (refusing to meet him and refusing to let him meet ss) and even scheduled (months in advance) and took ss in for a planned surgery without telling anyone about it. Not the GAL, not DH, not his atty, not the courts, no one.

Through all of this, ss was continually dressed in clothes that were too small or too large and full of holes, shoes always too small, etc. J finally begged the GAL to just go to her house, and when he did the conditions found were so bad that both ss and his half brother were removed immediately. Bm has since been found guilt of child neglect and has had another baby and lost that one too. But barring those extreme circumstances, bm would probably still have custody, despite not giving a rats ass about the co and what the judge had to say.
by Ruby Member on Apr. 13, 2014 at 3:31 PM

In BM's affidavit, when custody was to be decided, BM stated DH was very involved with child care prior to meeting me and even as a colleague, I saw evidence of his involvement, he actually left meeting and took day off to stay with the sick child or take the sick child to the doctor. DH could have won custody if he wanted but he would have had to fight dirty but he wanted every other weekend.

I think most fathers grew up in homes where their mothers were the primary parent and they in turn believe mother is the better parent to be primary when they are parents.

I think most men don't want to be custodial.

Career Woman, Wife and Mother of Two Children, a Girl and a Boy.

by Ruby Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 2:36 PM

 idk but i dont agree with it. my SO is very hands on. he wanted 50/50 and didnt get it because of a crooked GAL and BM lying.

by Gold Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 10:31 PM


In our state judge will not award joint custody if he doesn't get both parents consent

And it's mostly a mothers, who wouldn't agree to share custody.

And then battle begins.. Which usually end up with mother getting sole, and dad getting visitations

by on Apr. 15, 2014 at 12:57 AM
I didn't really have to fight for primary custody, but then again SO didn't really have to fight either and he has it. I wouldn't say Mom's are the default. I think to truly say moms are the default, every case would have to go to court and let the judge decide.
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