Carlsbad, CA, Lawyer Defends Each Parent’s Rights, Regardless of Gender in child-custody and support decisions

Historically, custody laws were biased in favor of women, sometimes granting child custody to mothers even when fathers could or would be more appropriate custodial parents due to the “tender years” doctrine: the courts believed that it was damaging to children to separate them from their mother when they were very young. The state law is expanded to include all parents, regardless of gender, and to not discriminate between parents. Since the courts are not biased either parent, they consider a list of relevant factors in each case. I have the experience and resources to advocate for your just treatment by the courts that leads to an equitable decision about your parental rights. I have training and experience in mediation and collaborative law methods for guiding families toward agreements that put their children’s best interests first. I am also certified by the Board of Legal Specialization of The State Bar of California as a Family Court-law specialist (CFLS) and enjoyed a 15-year career as a psychologist and Family Court counselor before beginning my legal practice.

California laws regarding gender and child-custody decisions

California Family Court Code §§3040-3049 governs the courts and the legal process for making fair child-custody decisions. Section 3040(a)(1) states that the Court “shall not prefer a parent as custodian because of that parent’s sex.” Under California Family Court Code §§3100-3105, parental rights to make decisions regarding their children’s upbringing are weighed against grandparents’ or grandparent’s 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 moved away from maternal preference and toward a gender-neutral approach; 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.

I 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 me about each parent’s rights to custody

To understand more about the role gender plays in child-custody cases, call Silverman Family Law, APC, at 760-512-3251 or contact me online to schedule your free, initial phone consultation. Sunday appointments are available.

Silverman Family Law, APC, located in Carlsbad, California, serves clients in and around Carlsbad, San Diego, Vista, Escondido, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, La Jolla, Mira Mesa, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos and all North County San Diego.