Are you a father who is headed toward divorce? Or, has your wife already had the divorce papers served? In any case, your relationship with your children is a top priority and you probably have a lot of questions about child custody. If your heart has sunk and your mind has already gone to the dark place where you’re thinking you’ll see your kids a lot less often, we’re here to tell you it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.
You see, we want all fathers to know that child custody has changed significantly in the past 20 years, but the problem is that a lot of them don’t know it. “How has child custody changed?” you might ask. The biggest difference is that the family courts no longer give mothers preferential treatment in child custody cases; they give mothers and fathers equal consideration when the parents are fighting over custody.
Why Fathers Are Given Equal Consideration
One can speculate on the different reasons why fathers are now given equal consideration in child custody cases, but we can say that one of the biggest factors is the number of women in the workforce. While stay-at-home mothers used to be the norm, that’s hardly the case nowadays.
In January, Forbes published an article on the number of women in the workforce. In it, the author, Jack Kelly, wrote, “Buried deep in the U.S. government’s December jobs report was an interesting piece of data—women hold more jobs than men, occupying 50.04% of positions.”
Then, Mark Zandi, the chief economist of Moody’s told Forbes that women are now the majority of the workforce, “and there’s no looking back.” Adding, “Women are going to increasingly dominate the labor market.” What does this mean? It means that much has changed on the home front. While stay-at-home mothers still exist, they’re no longer the norm.
With both parents working or even dads being stay-at-home fathers now more than ever before, it makes sense why the courts are giving equal consideration to both parents when a conflict over custody exists. Here’s what the California Courts say:
“In California, either parent can have custody of the children, or the parents can share custody. The judge makes the final decision about custody and visitation but usually will approve the arrangement (the parenting plan) that both parents agree on. If the parents cannot agree, the judge will make a decision at a court hearing.”
If you’re a father who remembers mothers getting custody of the kids most of the time in a divorce, please know that things have changed. More than ever before, fathers have the opportunity to seek joint custody or sole custody in cases where the mother is not fit. To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact our firm for a free consultation.