2755 Jefferson Street, Suite 205, Carlsbad, California 92008 | 1019 Costa Pacifica Way, Suite 1303, Oceanside, California 92054

Silverman & Silverman, Attorneys at Law

Free initial phone consultation NORTH COUNTY SAN DIEGO CARLSBAD 760.512.3251 OCEANSIDE 760.512.3251 SAN FRANCISCO 415.906.4142 Evening & Weekend Appointments Available
Fathers’ Rights and Mothers’ Rights

Carlsbad Lawyers Protect Fathers' and Mothers' Rights

Parental rights in child custody and support decisions

Historically, custody laws were biased in favor of women, sometimes granting mothers child custody even when the fathers would be more appropriate custodial parents and were known as the “tender years” doctrine: the courts believed that it was damaging to children to separate them from their mother when they were very young. Now, the courts are not biased against fathers and instead consider a list of relevant factors in each individual case.

Silverman & Silverman, Attorneys at Law, was formed in 1993 and focuses on resolving family law matters. We have the experience and resources to advocate for your just treatment by the courts that lead to an equitable decision about your parental rights. We have extensive training in mediation and collaborative law methods for guiding families toward agreements that put their children's best interests first. Attorney Alan R. Silverman is certified by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California as a family law specialist and enjoyed a 15-year career as a psychologist and family counselor before beginning his legal practice.

California laws regarding gender and child custody decisions

California Family Code §3040-3049 governs the courts and the legal process for making fair child custody decisions. Section 3040(a)(1) states:  the court "shall not prefer a parent as custodian because of that parent's sex." Under California Family Code §3100-3105, parents' rights to make decisions regarding their children's upbringing are weighed against grandparents' rights to child visitation.

Gender as a factor in child custody and visitation rulings

The American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law published its second edition of "A Judge's Guide: Making Child-Centered Decisions in Custody Cases." This informative procedural guidebook explains that courts have moved away from maternal preference and toward a gender-neutral approach, but it recommends that judges sometimes consider gender in their decisions, such as in situations involving:

  • Parental alienation — A parent who continually makes degrading and derogatory remarks about the gender of the other parent may contribute to parental alienation.
  • Gender perceptions — A parent who makes offensive comments about the opposite gender can negatively shape the children's perceptions of that gender and potentially damage the self-esteem of the children of that gender. Children who are the same sex as the offending parent may feel distrust and hostility toward the sex that is being attacked.
  • Breast-feeding — A breast-feeding mother must typically maintain a rigorous, consistent schedule for feeding her newborn, making her custody of a newborn child crucial to delivering this proven health benefit.
  • Gender identification — A child may identify with a parent of the same sex during crucial developmental periods, such as when beginning to date.

We may introduce evidence that your gender is relevant to a ruling in child custody and child visitation in San Diego courts if your children's best interests are supported.

Learn more from us about a mother’s and a father’s rights to custody

To understand more about the role gender plays in child custody cases, call Silverman & Silverman, Attorneys at Law, at 760.512.3251 or 415.906.4142 or online to schedule your free initial phone consultation. Sunday appointments are available.

Located in Carlsbad, our firm serves clients in Oceanside, La Jolla, Vista, Encinitas, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe and throughout the San Diego area.

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