Shared Custody to Combat Gender Bias’s Harmful Influence on Child Placement After Divorce

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In this paper, I will first provide evidence that proves that gender bias in custody courts plays a large role in child placement after divorce and acts as an unfair influencer in determining the best interest of the child. To do this, I will address four key points: longstanding gender stereotypes within marriage and parenting, difficulties faced by members of the LGBTQ community in custody courts, current factors used to determine parental fitness and “the best interest of the child.” After explaining the importance of these issues, I will discuss views opposing my claims and defend them in response to these oppositions. To conclude, I will propose three new ways to calculate parental fitness that will help curb the influence of gender bias: encouraging shared custody, implementing single-blind evaluations of each parent where the judge is given information on each person without knowing their gender or sexual orientation, and having each member of the direct family involved in the custody battle undergo psychological evaluations so factors beyond financial stability can be taken into account.