More fathers are raising kids on their own

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Child Custody on Friday, February 28, 2014.

Many Illinois residents are taking note of a major shift in child custody laws that has led to an increase in the number of children living primarily with their fathers. Over the past 50 years, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of fathers who have pursued and been granted custody of their children.

A recent Pew Research Center study of historical census and other data reveals that the percentage of households headed by single fathers in 1960 was only one percent, compared to eight percent, or more than 2.5 million households, in 2011. One of the major contributing factors to the increase in the number of households headed by single dads over the past several decades is the fact that many states have begun to enact child custody laws which strongly favor joint custody arrangements for children after divorce.

These changing state custody laws represent a departure in the way child custody decisions are made by courts. In many cases, child custody had been routinely granted to mothers because of societal norms which assumed women were better child care providers than men. Although many of the new laws were intended to promote more shared parenting of children after divorce, the decision to live separate lives has actually led to an increase in the number of divorced couples who choose to have the father serve as the primary custodial parent.

A parent who is facing the prospect of divorce may benefit from a consultation with a family law attorney. The attorney may be able to help clients to negotiate a custody arrangement that allows them to maintain a strong connection with their children after the marriage ends.

Source: The Atlantic, “The Rise of the Single Dad“, Caroline Kitchener, February 24, 2014