Shifting attitudes in parental rights

In August, several months after being abducted by his mother, a boy and his father were reunited. The story was dramatic and had a happy end; however, inside that story is an example of the evolution in how we award custody

The struggle to locate and return the child to his father has implications beyond one family in Georgia. Statistics show that when it comes to single-parent homes, generally speaking, that parent is usually a mother. In an increasing proportion of single-parent homes, that reality is shifting.

Statistics applied directly

According to the same statistical analysis above, fathers with sole custody make up 16.1 percent of all single-parent homes. This figure is nearly four percent higher than in 2007, signaling a movement away from the special consideration given to mothers when it comes to awarding custody.

That’s not all. There are two more points that indicate a departure from the historic trends, the child’s age and the marital status of the father.

  • Of children living with only their fathers, just 26 percent are below the age of six
    • The child was not yet one when custody was awarded to the father
  • The most common marital status of single-parent fathers is divorced
    • The father had not been married to the mother

These circumstances make this case a statistical outlier. Yet it is also a demonstration that the weight of statistics can be overcome by the willingness and drive of a good parent.

A father’s role

It is important to note that there are real factors that contribute to women becoming primary caregivers more commonly than men. Absent those factors, however, there is no reason for preferring either parent when both can care for their children.

If you are a father and you believe you need to protect your visitation and custody rights, contact a family law attorney experienced in fighting for fathers’ rights.

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