Navigate:

Do young child(ren) need their mother more than their father?

In the past, judges recognized standard that was known as the "tender years" doctrine. Under this standard, a child of tender years" generally, those under the age of eight were automatically awarded to the mother. The only way to prevent this was to prove that the mother was unfit to raise the child(ren). The "best interests of the child" standard has eliminated the tender years doctrine. Mothers are no longer automatically awarded custody of young children, but some states still make use of the tender years doctrine, without calling it as such. They achieve this by taking into consideration the age and sex of the children when deciding child custody. We stated above that sex and age are not an automatic determinant of custody, but they can still be considered by the judge and can be a very persuasive factor.