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Bias in court: Fighting biases against fathers

In today's world, there should be no bias against fathers in court. Remember, men often do just as much parenting as women. In some cases, fathers are staying at home with their children while their wives work. Often, both men and women work to support their children, alternating who provides care.

In the past, courts have looked at cases of divorce and decided that the best interests of the child would be to remain with the mother. That's not always fair or right. Beyond serious circumstances involving abuse or manipulation, there are times when a father is a more suitable parent to have primary custody.

The reality is that bias can exist, even though it's not legal

Unfortunately, old habits die hard, and that means that older judges and those with personal predjudices may have their own feelings about what should happen in your case. While they're meant to be honest and unbiased, they're still human. It is important to recognize when a bias is at play, because there could be more options than you realize.

For example, you may ask for a different judge. In some instances, a judge may realize that the situation they're dealing with brings up too much resentment, bias or other negative feelings. In that case, they have the option to recuse themselves (to step down from the case).

Some judges won't do this and see no problem with how they're handling a case. However, if you and your attorney agree that there is a bias or something clearly amiss, you can have your attorney speak to the judge to ask for assistance with a problem, like not getting enough time to speak or getting interrupted often. Your attorney may also ask the judge to recuse themself from the case.

Some judges won't be willing to step down so easily, but if you have evidence of bias, you can get the judge to step aside and allow another to take over the case. This is why it's important to have your attorney present at all hearings and to make sure they're monitoring the judge's actions.

Getting full or primary custody is already difficult for men, even though there isn't supposed to be a bias. Monitoring a judge for bias and asking them to correct it is something that has to continue to be done.

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Affordable Legal Services of Thomas Sandifer
225 S. Meramec Ave. Suite 925
Clayton, MO 63105

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