Because I specialize in Family law, I'm always interested to review data that pertains to child custody cases. Recently I came across a report that shows that increasingly more fathers are receiving primary custody of their children after a divorce. It's interesting that this trend moves away from the traditional perception that mothers are much more likely to gain primary custody of their children after divorce.
To give you some history on this subject; in the early 1990s most states discarded the Tender Years Doctrine, which led courts to grant custody to mothers in cases involving young children, though the practice of favoring mothers seemed to be persisting.
Currently there are different opinions on this subject but some reports suggest that a reliable estimate of the number of fathers who gain primary custody of their children may be as high as 50%.
This aligns with the trend of there being more stay at home Dads in families where Mom is the primary bread-winner, and household provider rather than Dad. It makes sense that as the number of Domestic Dads increase, the legal system should follow suit and be more wiling to award them with primary custody.
The recent economic downturn has also probably increased this trend as many men have lost their job. There are indications that in mid-2009 with the economy taking a beating, 75% of people who lost their jobs due to those economic circumstances were men. So if three quarters of those who lost their job last year were men, it makes sense that many of these out of work Dads may assume the role of staying at home and being the primary care giver to children.
In many of the custody cases I deal with it's usually a former spouse who presents the greatest obstacle for one parent seeking contact with their children and being granted custody, rather than any perceived bias or trend of the courts. This is why it's vital that you seek legal advice from an attorney who is experienced in handling family law cases, so that you can get the right advice early on and prevent any undesirable outcomes. My focus is and always will be on families and determining what is going to be best for the children. So that everyone can get on with their life after a divorce and there is minimal disruption to those younger members of the family as well as the adults.