When most people think of custody battles in divorce related cases they assume that the father is at a disadvantage. A lot of this perception has more to do with the previous generation’s traditional work/home roles in the household. Typically, the father of the household maintained the full-time employment and the mother either didn’t work or had employment that provided flexibility to handle the responsibilities associated with raising children. Today’s generation is different. Women and men are increasingly working similar hours with similar responsibilities in the workplace. It goes without saying that in today’s times you cannot automatically assume that the man is the breadwinner of the household. This trend is increasingly becoming present in divorce proceedings as well.
The bond between mother and child is unlike any other and is impossible to replace. Therefore, it would be naive for a father to enter into a custody dispute without acknowledging that the mother has some advantages by the very fact that she is the child’s mother. However, in today’s times the determination of custody really comes down to what role the parent plays in raising the child. To aid in this determination the Court will look to “what is in the best interest of the child.”
Statistically, the child custody and child support system does show a disparity between fathers and mothers when it comes to who actually receives financial support and visitation. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that nearly half of fathers that do not have visitation with their children still financial support their children. Also, custodial mothers were more likely to receive full child support payments (44%) than custodial fathers (35%). There are other factors that affect these statistics. For instance, income disparities could account for some of the discrepancy. Other factors we see as divorce and custody attorneys are related to a lack of representation. Too often these issues are treated as pro se matters to the party’s detriment. There are certainly legal matters that can be handled by a lay person with the assistance of an attorney. However, when issues such as
- the amount a person is expected to have to pay in child support,
- the amount a person is expected to receive in child support or
- when there is a legal dispute over who will have custody of a child the assistance of an experienced attorney is critical.
Fathers are not at a disadvantage when it comes to fighting for custody of a child. Today it is more common for the father to be in a position where he is more involved in the day to day needs of the child. Ultimately, the father’s involvement in the child’s life is one of the main factors the Court will look at when trying to determine what is in the best interest of the child. The experienced attorneys at the Faucette Law Firm have guided clients through the divorce process. We specialize in
divorce, custody, child support, spousal support, modifications and adoptions. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.