Fathers Being Granted Physical Custody More Often

Creating a custody arrangement is possibly the most difficult determination a court must make in a divorce proceeding. Any arrangement must be made with the child's best interests in mind, not whether mothers have traditionally been granted custody. Such an inherent bias is a violation of father's rights and should no longer be allowed.

Single-parent homes led by males are on the rise according to recent research. The percent of such homes led by males has increased from 14 to 24 percent since 1960 with 2.6 million being led by the father, compared to 8.6 million being led by mothers. Experts feel there are many factors that have contributed to this increase, and they are likely the same as those causing the percentage of two-parent homes to decline. They feel that changes in the legal system over the years have provided fathers with greater possibilities of gaining custody of their children than before.

A child custody arrangement governs the living situation of any children of a couple going through a divorce. The ultimate consideration in making this determination is what is in the best interests of the child. Many factors are applied in making this determination including religious considerations, a stable home, abuse by either parent and the health of the parents. The gender of the parents, however, is not a factor that is or should be considered. Traditionally though, mothers have held an advantage over fathers in the granting of physical custody of children.

As stated above, homes that are led by one parent are increasing, while homes with both parents are on the decline. Additionally, single-parent homes led by the father are increasing as well. This may be due to a change in the thinking of courts and society typically held a bias in favor of mothers having custody of children. The gender of a parent is not a factor to weigh in the granting of custody and it appears that courts are beginning to put that idea into practice more often than before, providing fathers with a greater likelihood of being granted physical custody of their children.

Source: Highlands Today, "Single father households on the increase," Marc Valero, July 14, 2013

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