29 Jun

Mothers Have A Distinct Advantage For Children’s Primary Residence

Although the new Children’s Act provides for estranged mothers and fathers to have equal parental responsibilities and rights in the bringing up of their minor children, mothers are at a distinct advantage when it comes to primary residence of the minor child/children and where they should reside permanently once there is a divorce or separation.

Although there have been decided cases in which our judges have stated that the word “mothering” can apply equally to a father, in the majority of cases when parents split up, it is the mother with whom the minor child/children lives and not the father.

I have seen many cases where the father is by far the better parent but because on separation the minor child/children has lived with the mother, and has continued to do so for a period of time, the child is left in the mother’s place of residence permanently. This sometimes contradicts conditions whereby the father provides the better environment in which the child can develop.

It is difficult for a father to obtain primary residence of a minor child/children. How is it that when a father refuses to return a child to a mother for good reason, such as for example the mother being a serious manic depressive, that the father is considered in breach of the custody agreement? The father has to fight an action for primary residence from behind because initially, the child/children will be returned to the mother yet it seems fathers are at a distinct disadvantage on separation of retaining primary residence and obviously the longer the minor child /children live with the mother, the more difficult are his chances of ever having the minor child/children live with him.