About Equal Rights of Child Custody for Men

Written by mike broemmel
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About Equal Rights of Child Custody for Men
(Adzica, Everystockphoto.com)

Over the course of the past 20 years, with a growing number of marriages ending in divorce, there is a notable increase in the number of fathers who are being designated the primary legal custodians of their children. Most of these fathers enjoy joint custody with their former wives, with the children living with the fathers as their primary residents. Joint custody is the preferred custodial arrangement by the courts. The number of fathers who have sole custody has increased 15 per cent during the past two decades.

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History

Throughout the 20th century, when courts were confronted with the issue of child custody, mothers were presumed to be the natural parties with whom minor children should reside. The vast majority of divorce and similar cases ended with mothers designated as primary residential custodians of children. While fathers were offered visitation, it was in the home of women that minor children involved in divorce primarily resided. Beginning in the early 1990s, a movement toward more men gaining primary custody of their children commenced.

Types of Custody

There are three primary types of custody, including custody for men. First, joint custody is the type of arrangement favoured by most judges. Through joint custody, both parents share the custody of a child. One of the parents will be designated to provide the primary residence for the child. More men are taking this role. Second, sole custody is the next most widely used custodial arrangement. In this situation, only one of the parents has legal custody of the child. The other parent will have the chance to obtain visitation privileges. Men are gaining sole custody at a far higher rate in this day and age. Finally, there is shared custody in which both custody and actual residential arrangements for the children is split evenly between both parents. This is not always favoured by courts as children tend to lack a feeling of a home base when they find themselves spending only half their time in any one residence.

Trends

There are a number of trends that are playing into the reality that more men are gaining primary custody of children. The whole composition of the workplace is playing a significant role in this regard. A vast majority of women are working outside of the home. More men are devoting more time to staying at home with their children. There is also a major attitudinal shift in the judicial system through which judges and other court officials appreciate that men fully are capable of providing for the basic and essential needs of their children.

Benefits

The benefits of more men being able to exercise their rights to custody include the fact that children are having far better opportunities to develop strong and meaningful relationships with their fathers. Men are now able to play more meaningful and significant roles in the lives of their children. Another of the benefits is that by allowing men more opportunity to assume primary custody, both parents have a better chance to maintaining their careers and generating appropriate incomes for their families.

Parenting Time

Another change that has occurred together with the increase in the number of men who have primary custody is the development of the concept of parenting time. Rather than referring to the time that the non-custodial parent spends with children as visitation, an ever-increasing number of courts refer to this as parenting time. The non-custodial parent, whether a woman or a man, should not be considered a visitor in the lives of her or his children. Therefore, the concept of parenting time is expanding.

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