Gender Equality in Child Custody Evaluations, Does it Exist?

As a father involved in a child custody dispute, you may feel nervous when thinking about the possibility that some child custody evaluators and judges could hold antiquated and inaccurate belief that men are less capable of providing nurturance than the mother, or that your bond is somehow less important than the child and mother’s.


Before the eighteenth century, a father who divorced his spouse had property rights to not only any marital asset, but his children as well. During the 19th century, thing flipped when the Tender Years Doctrine came out. In this doctrine, a mother would get full rights to the children after a divorce, just by default. If the father wanted custody, he had the burden to prove the mother was an unfit parent.


In today’s courtroom, most of the states in the U.S. have shifted gears and have adopted “Best Interest Factors” to guide their parenting time placement decisions. These factors are unique requirements that the courts need to consider when making decisions about a child’s appropriate custody and care. Factors to be considered include parental capacity to provide adequate care, sibling and other family relationships, and the child’s wishes. Thanks to these factors, the gender inequality issue has been reduced, but not always eliminated.

Whether you’re male or female, you are not wrong to question whether or not the evaluation could have been swayed if the evaluator wasn’t being neutral or held some bias belief.

Is there a way someone can review my evaluation and screen for unethical practices?

Yes! Once you’re evaluation is complete, if your gut is telling you that the evaluation was poorly conducted or swayed by an evaluator’s biases, it may be a good idea to have an expert take a look. Here at the Psychological Center for Expert Evaluations, Inc., we’re often retained by attorneys and clients who feel their evaluation misrepresented them or was unethically performed. When this occurs, we review the work product of another evaluator and do a screen for poor practices, biases, or unethical behaviors. If they are clearly present, your attorney will then disclose to opposing council that they intend on having us come to court as an expert witness, to help the judge learn about the reports deficiencies.

Overall, we believe no one should fall victim to gender inequality in the court room. For this reason, we’re here to help you on you’re case to ensure your evaluation was done right! Give us a call today to discuss your case with one of our forensic psychologists. 561-429-2140

Best Interest Factors for Children PDF:  Best Interest Factors

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