Missouri shows little gender bias in family law matters

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, June 19, 2014.

Family law is a multifaceted legal area that covers topics ranging from marriage and divorce to domestic abuse and property disputes. One of the most important topics is family law’s role in determining the upbringing of children. Children are the future of our world and are often the most important part of any divorce proceeding, as all parties involved want what’s best for the child. Unfortunately, courts in the past have often held a belief that mothers are what’s best for the child.

A recent study using data collected from 1989 to 2012 discovered that, while there was a gender-bias in custody cases a few decades ago, the shift toward equality is well underway. The number of men who considered themselves stay-at-home fathers has almost doubled, and over 20 percent of those fathers cite taking care of their family as the main reason they stay at home. In addition, data from divorce records between 1986 and 2008 shows that 80 percent of mothers used to receive sole custody. That number is now almost down to 40 percent.

While there are many fathers across the country that feel as though they still don’t get a fair shake in custody disputes, Missouri is noted as a state that shows notably little gender bias. This is important not only for child custody matters, but for all family law matters. Child custody settlements often affect child support payments, for example.

Other family law matters that Missouri residents can take advantage of include prenuptial agreements, which can play a huge part in divorce settlements. Even grandparents can take advantage of family law to help them get custody or visitation rights of children whom they feel they would be well suited to care for. Missouri residents can seek legal assistance in family matters without worrying that their gender will affect their representation.

Source: Detroit Free Press, “More dads demand equal custody rights, reject child-support arrangements of yesterday,” Sharon Jayson, June 14, 2014

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