It used to be very common for the mother of a child to automatically end up with sole custody of a child after divorce, particularly if the child was young. However, this is no longer the approach in the modern courtroom.
It is actually far more common for the courts to decide on a joint custody arrangement. According to FindLaw, sole custody is generally reserved for situations where one parent is struggling with addiction or has a history of violence.
What is sole custody?
Sole custody is when one parent has all legal rights and responsibilities associated with raising a child. For example, in a sole custody situation the child lives with one parent and that parent makes all decisions regarding education, religious upbringing, and other pertinent details. The other parent is non-custodial and may have visitation rights.
Joint custody is when both parents share both physical and legal custody of the child. In these situations, it is common for the parents to live close to each other so that the child can go back and forth between parental residences with ease.
Why did this change?
People used to assume that women are superior at care-taking. In the modern era, this is no longer assumed. In fact, children do best when both parents are actively involved in their lives, even if both parents are no longer married to each other.
Being able to handle a joint custody situation also sets a great example for the kids. It proves that the love the parents have for the children is greater than whatever caused the divorce in the first place. Having a joint custody situation can prevent a lot of stress on children.
Does the woman get custody?