How Parenting Stereotypes Can Affect Custody

How Parenting Stereotypes Can Affect CustodyPatterned Parenting Roles


Societal expectations reflect the morals and values of a society. Our society views the roles of mother and father as being different, and this results in strongly held to stereotypes that we are all subject to. The stereotypical mother is the hard-working and selfless primary caregiver, and the stereotypical father is the main breadwinner and secondary caregiver. Unfortunately, these stereotypes can influence custody decisions, whether true or not.

Parenting stereotypes shouldn’t affect a judge’s decision on custody. Rather, the past actions and involvement along with the current wishes of the parents should influence a judge’s decision. The parenting stereotype of the uninvolved father is particularly harmful. A father may face adversity when fighting for custody if he had been uninvolved in the child’s life, even for a compelling reason. This could happen even if he had a strong desire to become more involved in his child’s life.

Stereotypes are societal constructions, not track histories of each parent in a custody case. But when you are battling for custody in court, you might feel like you are being held to a certain standard. A previously uninvolved father may have to fight against the parenting stereotype that says fathers are unlikely to ever become involved parents. Likewise, the stereotype of the primary caregiver may work against a working mother who has had to rely on other sources of care for her children, such as child care providers and family members.

Custody cases can feel like a battle. The judge is required to consider several relevant factors when making a custody decision, and parenting stereotypes are not included. But stereotypes can project a certain standard society can hold parents to. And the influence society has on decisions made by the court cannot be ignored.

You need to speak with a knowledgeable child custody attorney in your area if you have any questions about your case. Despite your best intentions, many factors can influence a judge’s custody decision. While parenting stereotypes are not among these, the standard they represent can cast you in a certain light. Because of this, it is important you understand how the facts and circumstances of your case can influence the judge’s decision. A child custody attorney can help you understand these factors so you can know if the decision is in your child’s best interests.


Are you a parent seeking custody? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help you. We can help you do what it takes to fight for your child and your rights. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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