In the world of family law, there are many myths regarding the importance of gender. One of the most prevalent is that women are more likely to get physical custody. However, for non-traditional families, these myths only add to the complexity of their cases. Read on to learn more.
Gender Bias in Family Law: Fact or Fiction?
Historically, family courts have been accused of favoring mothers when it comes to child custody decisions. This belief stems from the tender years doctrine, which assumed that young children were better off with their mothers. However, this doctrine has been largely discredited and is no longer followed in most jurisdictions, including Oklahoma.
Today, Oklahoma family courts strive for gender neutrality in divorce proceedings. The guiding principle is the best interests of the child, and judges consider numerous factors when determining custody arrangements.
Some of these factors include:
- The wishes of the child (if they are old enough to express a preference)
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- The ability of each parent to provide a stable home environment.
- The willingness of each parent to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent
It is important to note that while the courts aim for gender neutrality, biases can still exist in individual cases. For this reason, it is essential to work with an experienced attorney who can advocate for your rights and ensure that your case is treated fairly.
Gender and Property Division
In addition to child custody, the division of marital property can also be a contentious issue during a divorce. Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, between the parties. Factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse's contributions to the marriage, and each spouse's earning capacity are considered when dividing property.
While gender should not directly impact property division, it is essential to have an attorney who can advocate for a fair and equitable distribution of assets. This may be particularly important for women who have taken on a primary caregiving role and may have sacrificed career advancement or earning potential during the marriage.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Whether you are a husband, wife, or part of a non-traditional family, having skilled legal representation is crucial during a divorce. A knowledgeable attorney will help you navigate the complexities of family law and protect your interests. They can also dispel any myths or misconceptions that may be impacting your case.
For example, some people believe that fathers cannot receive primary custody of their children or that they are automatically required to pay higher child support and alimony. These misconceptions can create unnecessary fear and anxiety during an already challenging time. A qualified attorney will ensure that you understand your rights and options under Oklahoma law.
While gender should not play a significant role in divorce proceedings in Oklahoma, it is crucial to be aware of potential biases and misconceptions that could impact your case. By working with an experienced attorney, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that your case is treated fairly, regardless of your gender identity.
Nichols Dixon PLLC believes that the practice of law is not a job but rather a commitment to advocacy. Our firm has helped countless clients navigate the uncertainty of their futures and provided support during the most challenging times of their lives.
When you need unparalleled legal guidance, contact our attorneys at Nichols Dixon PLLC.