Recently, the international press covered the story of Christopher Savoie, a man who has filed a number of lawsuits after he tried to take his children as they walked to school in Japan. The year before, his ex-wife was given permission to visit Japan with her children – and she never returned. Savoie has raised a number of concerns about divorce and child custody, including the idea that child custody judges are often biased toward mothers and against fathers.

Do men face gender bias in child custody cases? While it is generally accepted that men face discrimination in Japanese child custody courts, t is difficult to determine what the situation is in the United States and Washington. Though women are given custody of children at a rate of about four times that of men, it is hard to tell how much more often women seek custody rights. Though women are more likely to be granted temporary custody of children during divorces, it is usually in the best interest of the children involved.

At the same time, there is some evidence that men are more and more often being falsely accused of domestic violence and domestic abuse – accusations that can be difficult to prove but that can also lead to restricted visitation rights and lost custody battles. Some fathers also put forth that mothers are more likely to benefit financially in a divorce through child support payments. 

Recently dads have become active in a new fathers’ right movement, which advocates for less gender bias in the courtroom.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington