In the past, women were the sex to be protected when it came to divorce. Now, divorce is more even playing field and men don’t automatically lose everything. As a result, more men are successfully seeking custody of their children.
By: 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. But the laws have changed. In divorce, women no longer have all the power. Now, divorce is more even playing field and men don’t automatically lose everything.
Men used to tell similar stories. Those stories sounded hauntingly familiar. “She took the house, she took the car, and then she took my children away.”
In many courts across the country women were given preference in custody and property decisions. 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 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.
Societal developments in the past few decades have remedied some of the power imbalances between the sexes in divorce cases. One of the changes was the elimination of the “Tender Years Doctrine.” In Florida, as with many states, custody laws were rewritten to become gender neutral. Judges were directed to consider certain factors in a custody determination. But those factors were rewritten to exclude gender preferences. In Florida, child custody law became completely balanced and men gained an equal right to ask for the minor children in their divorce action.
Because of this change more men are successfully seeking custody of their children. With custody of the children, possession of the marital home does not automatically go to the mom. At the moment, women still get custody of the children the majority of the time. 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.
Copyright 2005 The Divorce Center P.A.
About The Author:
Howard Iken is a Divorce Attorney. He represents divorce clients in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando County, Florida. You can contact Howard Iken at 1-888-4My-Divorce (1-888-469-3486) or visit http://www.18884MyDivorce.com.