Unless you have been hiding under a rock for years you are very much aware that previously there was a major trend that revolved around mothers automatically being awarded custody in a divorce dispute. However, as the times have changed, so has this trend. Now in divorce settlements there are more fathers that are becoming the primary caregiver for their children. But what has really sparked this?
First, there is the movement to remove the "Tender Years Doctrine
" from the courts. This theory has said that children, especially young children age 5 and younger would do better in the care of their mother no matter what. This has been proven wrong, and with the removal of this from courts, more fathers are able to fight for custody. The reason for the removal is because many people now realize that women are not always the better parent.
Additionally, more fathers are choosing to be a stay at home parent, which opens the door for those stay at home fathers to claim that they are the primary caregiver for the children of a marriage. As we all know, the courts prefer to leave children with the primary caregiver if any way possible so that routines do not change much unless necessary. Therefore, with more fathers staying home this gives them a small advantage in their particular cases.
Also helping fathers gain custody is the realization that children need their fathers just as much as they need their mothers.
The courts have started to realize that there are simply times when the father is the better parent to handle the majority of the needs of the child. However, not all cases of the father winning custody involve a mother that is unfit, but it is common. But just as some cases find a mother who is better suited to custody, some cases find a father that is better suited as well.
As you can imagine the cases of unfit mothers are also a help in fathers gaining custody. This is a situation that is often dragged out and quite painful in the courts however. Most people are not willing to readily accept yet that a mother is unfit. In addition, when they determine that a mother is unfit, they rarely award large amounts of visitation, as well as place restrictions on the visitation, which create the room for further fights and arguments. This is never a good situation and should be avoided if any way possible. However, if the safety of the children is a concern, then be more concerned about their safety rather than going easy on your spouse.
As you can imagine a father, being awarded custody is still relatively new. Many people start to automatically assume that the mother must have been awful to lose custody. It is important to realize that this is not always the case. There are just simply times where the father is the better parent for the daily task of raising the children. This does not mean that the mother is unfit. It is the same if the mother is awarded custody, it does not automatically mean that the father was unfit.
If you are seeking custody, then it is a good idea to find a good lawyer who specializes in father's rights to help you. You may also want to find a father's rights group in your area. They are often a wealth of information on tips and suggestions that can apply to your case based upon the judge hearing your divorce. Do realize that a father winning custody is still not standard practice, but it is not impossible.
Each year more fathers are being awarded custody and if you are a father, seeking custody there is hope. Make sure you educate yourself on all of the processes and procedures for the custody hearings and make sure you are encouraging a relationship with your spouse and child. The courts always like to see a gracious parent win. Ensure that you help make it possible for your child to still maintain a close bond with the mother. This will often help gain you points in the judge's eye. Dedicate yourself to the process and it is possible to win custody.
Here are additional resources you might be interested in:
Child Custody Information
How to Settle Child Custody Battle Out of Court
Child Custody and Visitation after Divorce
More information on dealing with Children and Divorce click here