Whether you are a single father or are currently going through the divorce process, you may feel overwhelmed and emotional when dealing with the separation. Going through a divorce involving children can be complicated, especially when it comes to determining who will receive custody of the children. Traditionally, mothers have been awarded full or primary custody of the children in a divorce, as they are often the primary caretakers of the kids. Changing dynamics in the workplace and evolving parental roles, however, have also changed the way judges award child custody.
As more women infiltrate the workplace and take high-ranking positions, more fathers are staying at home to take care of the children. If these parents should file for divorce, the court may be more likely to award sole-physical custody to the father, as he has been the one taking care of the children while the mother is at work. Furthermore, working mothers may be ordered to pay child support and alimony to the custodial parent, the father, so he can help to maintain the same quality of life for the children.
An old practice, known as the ‘tender years doctrine’ awarded sole-physical custody to mothers, whether they were working or not, because mothers were the ones who took care of the children the majority of the time. Today, most states no longer use the doctrine and simply go by which parent spends the most time with the kids. Women who work long hours and spend time away from their children are at risk of losing custody to caretaking fathers who stay at home.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.