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Do child custody courts favor women over men?

It has long been assumed that custody determinations are more often made in favor of mothers over fathers. In reality, however, it has been quite some time since Colorado family law courts operated under the assumption that one gender is better suited to care for a child than the other. In today's social climate, judges are far more likely to take a balanced view on the matter, and to make a child custody determination that is based on the specific abilities of each parent, and how those abilities factor into the best interests of the child.

What can make a world of difference in a custody case is money. When one party has the ability to hire a skilled attorney to represent their interests in court, he or she is likely to fare better than a party who is forced to act as his or her own attorney. In this way, couples who have a significant imbalance of power do not always enter a custody battle on even ground.

For women who have lived in abusive or controlling marriages, deciding to file for divorce can be intimidating. Many fear that they will lose access to their kids, a fear that is sometimes based on threats issued by one's spouse. In addition, they are often aware that their spouse is likely to take steps to limit their access to marital funds, leaving them unable to hire a divorce attorney.

For those in Colorado who are concerned about an upcoming child custody case, it is important to take steps to secure solid legal counsel. In some cases, it is possible to ask the court to order the spouse with money to cover part or all of the legal fees of the party without access to those funds. That can help even the playing field when it comes to determining which party will have the bulk of child rearing responsibilities.

Source:, "Women rally outside Passaic court for fairness in child-custody battles", Richard Cowen, May 6, 2016

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