Mexican brother and sister
Mexican brother and sisteriStock

Mexico's Supreme Court last week struck down a clause in Mexico City's family code granting automatic custody of young children to the mother, the Associated Press reported.

Previously, custody of children under age 12 would automatically go to the mother in cases of divorce. However, the country's Supreme Court ruled that the policy was unconstitutional, since it discriminates based on gender.

According to the court, the clause's language removes the judges' ability to make decisions based on the needs and best interests of the minors in question.

In addition, the clause "not only reaffirmed traditional gender stereotypes, but deepens the role of the woman-mother and impedes the eradication of the traditional conception of femininity."

Israel's Tender Years clause includes children from birth to age six. However, if one sibling is younger than age six the judge will usually grant the mother custody of all the children, in order to keep the siblings together. Later, when the children are older, it is usually ruled that remaining in the same parent's custody is in the children's best interests.

In addition, until the divorce agreements are final - something which can take several years - the non-custodial parent meets the children for one hour once a week at a supervised "contact center" only.