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Climate changing for fathers' child custody cases

It’s been a long-held belief, in both society at large and the court system, that mothers are more important in a child’s life than fathers. Child custody cases have reflected and perpetrated this belief for decades, automatically awarding children to the mother even when it might not have been in the best interest of the child. Now, the work of fathers’ rights advocates and a general cultural shift are changing some of these antiquated ideas.

For one, the family dynamic has changed. Men used to be the sole breadwinners of the household, gone all day while the mother tended to the kids. Now, women have won much more equality in the workplace, are pursuing careers and often make more than their husbands. Because of this, close to 2 million men in this country are now staying home with the kids. This fundamentally alters men’s relationships with their kids and judges around the country are recognizing this.

In fact, since 1986, cases where the mother got sole custody of the children fell dramatically from 80 percent to 42 percent. During that same time period, cases where both parents received equal custody increased to 27 percent from 5 percent.

Some argue that this focus on men’s rights in divorces only causes more contention during the proceedings and can lead to unhealthy relationships between the divorcing couple. Isn’t this the same argument people made as women made the move to the workplace? Should we forego the fight for equality in favor of keeping the status quo?

If you’re going through a divorce, a Texas attorney may be able to ensure that your rights are protected when it comes to visitation rights and child custody.

Source: usatoday.com, “More dads demand equal custody rights,” Sharon Jayson, June 14, 2014

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