According to Divorce Attorney Howard Iken, for many years the process of divorce was a process heavily biased toward women, to balance out the fact that it was a man’s world. Traditionally, women were considered the weaker sex. They were the sex to be protected and protected they were – when it came to divorce. And it was considered the proper place for all young children to be with their mother. But the laws have changed significantly in custody decisions. In divorce, women no longer have all the power. Now, divorce is more even playing field and men don’t automatically lose everything. In most states that have modernized their laws, men have an equal chance to get custody.
The stories go something like this: “She took the house, she took the car, and then she took my children away.” For many years the process of divorce was a process heavily biased toward women, to balance out the fact that it was a man’s world. Traditionally, women were considered the weaker sex. They were the sex to be protected and protected they were – when it came to divorce. When a custody decision was made the ultimate answer was obvious – the woman would get custody.
This principle was also directed embedded in the divorce law of many states. In Florida and many other states, there was a principle known as the “Tender Years Doctrine.” In short, the law said the place for young children was with their mom. A man’s right’s to become the custodial parent was trampled on and completely ignored. Possession of the marital home usually went to the parent that received the children. Right off the bat, the initial position of the courts was to award the house and children to the mom. Though women did benefit from this system the effect was to short change 50% of the population – men. Back then it was not thought that men could emotionally nurture children.
Societal developments in the past few decades have remedied some of the power imbalances between the sexes. One of those imbalances that changed in Florida law is the legal preference for women as custodians of children. The “Tender Years Doctrine” was abolished in Florida and custody law was rewritten to be gender neutral. Judges were directed to consider certain factors in a custody determination. But none of those factors mention children. In Florida, child custody law became completely balanced and both sexes gained equal rights to get custody of the minor children in a divorce action.
Because of this change more men are successfully seeking custody of their children, and asserting all their rights as parents. With custody, possession of the marital home does not automatically go to the mom. Divorce Attorney Howard Iken notices more women still get custody of the children. But that will change over time now that the law is more even handed. In divorce, women no longer have all the power. Now, divorce is more even playing field and men don’t automatically lose everything.