Key stats showing gender bias may not influence custody

For years, there has been a prevailing idea, which some call a myth, that gender bias influences child custody cases in Arizona. According to this idea, fathers have much less of a chance of getting the children than mother, which they claim is unfair. However, some stats seem to show that gender bias may not be as common as people claim it is.

-- In more than half of the cases (51 percent), the parents simply agreed together that the mother should get custody.

-- In nearly a third of cases (29 percent), no third party was involved in the decision at all.

-- In over a tenth of cases (11 percent), mediation was used to give mothers custody, rather than going before a judge.

-- In another 5 percent of these cases, a custody evaluation was carried out and custody was awarded.

-- A grand total of just 4 percent of the overall custody cases even ended up getting to a trial. Most of those didn't make it through the entire litigation process.

What this means is that 91 percent of the cases that were studied did not end up in family court with a judge deciding who would get custody of the children. In only under 4 percent of the decisions, the court made a ruling. Those who feel gender bias is a myth point to this as a reason it's not real, saying it can't be as prevalent as others claim since it doesn't impact the vast majority of these cases at all.

Of course, these stats may just show that it's not common, not that it's not real. Make sure you know your rights if you're heading to court.

Source: Huffington Post, "Dispelling The Myth Of Gender Bias In The Family Court System," Cathy Meyer, accessed June 24, 2016

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