Changing with the Times: Study Highlights Changes in Child Custody Demographics

The term “single dad” seems to be a much more common phrase these days as more fathers are choosing to care for their children on a full-time basis. Demographics are revealing new trends in American family life as single parent households are increasingly becoming more common in today’s society, according to a Pew Research Center study. Said study found that not only did divorce rates rise considerably over the past half-century, single fatherhood did as well.

Single Fatherhood Numbers are Climbing

The number of households with children headed by single fathers has increased significantly. There were an estimated 300,000 single father households in 1960.  In 2011, that number grew exponentially to 2.6 million. Today, almost 10% of all households are headed by a single father compared to only 1% in 1960. This trend suggests a cultural departure from the conventional model of weekend male parenting. Divorcing fathers are asking for and receiving a greater role in the custody and upbringing of their child.

Abandonment of Traditional Child Custody Policies?

The Pew Research Center’s study suggests that the shift in policies may have been caused by the U.S. judicial system. The courts are now gearing their child custody decisions toward “joint parenting”, or joint custody, as opposed to past decisions where custody was based on traditional parenting roles. In the early 2000s, many states began implementing legislation encouraging both parents to spend an equal amount of time with their children.

Always Think of the Children

The best interests of the child are far more important than anything else when it comes to child custody proceedings. As times change, it becomes apparent that traditional custody forms are becoming rare as society’s acceptance of single fatherhood continues to grow. Sole physical custody is always an option for divorcing parents as it still allows the non-custodial parent the opportunity to spend time with the child. Our family law attorneys can advise you in terms of creating a custodial arrangement that both spouses can agree on.

Let Us Help You

Fearing for your family’s future and well-being after a divorce is entirely understandable. Know that in McAllen, we are here to help you during this difficult transitional period. We will stand by you to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your child custody case.

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