152 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 37: 1 2017]
Similarly, critics claim that the child needs strong bonds with both parents, and sole
custody would not allow that. 177 It is true that the child needs strong bonds with both of his or her
parents, so long as each parent is fit and capable. Critics who stress this argument fail to address
that a sole custody arrangement still promotes ample visitation by the other parent. 178 During this
abundant and meaningful bonding time, the child and parent can foster a close attachment
without having to sacrifice the security or stability of the child. 179 Sole custody, therefore, would
support the close relationship a child should have with each of his or her parents without
compromising his or her best interest. 180
F. Misconceptions about Fathers
There is a noticeable discrepancy between how mothers and fathers are perceived and
treated within the legal system and society. Despite the existence of this publicly accepted
gender-bias and impression, it is injurious to children to presume that all mothers encompass the
archetype, selfless, and nurturing societal image and to classify all divorced, separated, or
unmarried fathers as unfit, selfish deadbeats. 181
Although even deficient mothers are automatically presumed fit182 to take most of the
responsibility of child rearing, fathers – habitually labeled “deadbeats” for their lack of presence
or ability to provide adequate financial support183 – have to consistently fight to prove their
177 See SINGER & REYNOLDS, supra note 123, at 500.
178 A proposed sole custody arrangement would provide the non-custodial parent with one day of visitation in the
middle of the week from after school to 7:00 p.m. and every other weekend from Friday after school to Sunday
evening (extended to Monday evening, if there is a school holiday on Monday). During the holidays, the children
alternate parents between vacations each year.
179 See SINGER & REYNOLDS, supra note 123, at 505; see Hardcastle, supra note 107, at 210.
181 See Maillard, supra note 96.
182 Factors to be weighed in determining a parent fit or unfit include neglect, abuse, a parent’s ability to provide the
child with basic needs, a parent’s physical and emotional health, and a parent’s ability to properly guide a child
through life. See generally Adoption of Zoltan, 881 N.E.2d 155 (Mass. App. Ct. 2008).
183 Elizabeth S. Scott and Robert E. Scott, Parents as Fiduciaries, 81 VA. L. REV. 2401, 2435 (1995); Tonya L.
Brito, The Welfarization of Family Law, 48 U. KAN. L. REV. 229, 263 (2000); Joseph E. Cordell, The Myth of the