The First Era Of Child Custody Law Essay

1314 Words 6 Pages
There were two major historical eras when it came to child custody law. The first era which lasted about 200 years, made decisions about children using divine law (Mason, 2012). The ideal family not only reflected the political balance between men and women, but also the political economy (Mason, 2012). In this first era, fathers were see as the “head” of the house hold and was in charged of everyone living under his roof (Mason, 2012). This was because children and wives were viewed as property to the husband (Kelly, 1994; Costanzo & Krauss, 2010). The people that would be considered as children that lived in a house hold would include slave children, indentured servants, children of orphaned relatives, and of course natural children (Mason, 2012). Children in this era worked to support the family, and because fathers viewed their children as property, “he had the power to sell his children and enter them into enforced labor” (Mason, 2012; Kelly, 1994, para 1). During this era, Mothers were not granted legal rights of their children, and were not even considered as being guardian in result of the father’s death (Kelly, 1994).
The major historical era started in the late nineteenth century. This era introduced both best interest of child and maternal preference (Mason, 2012). The drastic swing from father to mother preference happened because mothers were seen better suited to raise children (Kelly, 1994). This idea came from Freud’s psychoanalytic theory which emphasized…

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