We all know that gender roles changed quite a while ago and it is becoming more evident in today’s society. Advertising is changing; commercials for products like Clorox, Huggies, Tide, and Go-Gurt are showing men in roles that used to be considered roles for women or mothers. The terms “stay at home dad” and “househusband” are becoming more common place. With these obvious changes in lifestyle and social norms a change in the legal area of family law cannot be too far behind.
There is strong belief that in the family law system the mother is often favored over the father when it comes to custody of the children. The reasoning has been because in most cases the mother is the one caring for the child and forming the strong bonds with the children. The father is seen as the financial provider and the mother is the nurturer and caretaker. This is not the norm today. Women are different, men are different, and families are different. More and more men are stepping into the role of nurturer and caretaker while more and more women are stepping into the role of financial provider. At some point there will not be an automatic assumption that the best interest of the child is with the mother.
Now is the time for courts to take a closer examination into the relationship built between father and child. The family law system will need to rethink any biases it may have and do away with any antiquated thinking. This is a new time for family and family law.