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More NY divorce cases result in fathers receiving sole custody

More single-fathers are being awarded sole custody of their children as a result of changing family dynamics.

Families in America have undergone a drastic change within the last 50 years. The traditional family of the past often involved a working father and a stay-at -home mother who cared for the children. The family of today in New York, however, has grown to envelope a variety of different family structures. Not only are there a significant number of unwed mothers having babies, but there is also a growing number of single-fathers raising their children. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, over 40 percent of all babies in the U.S. are born to unmarried mothers. This, and many other changes in family dynamics, has led to a surge of fathers across America fighting for their paternal rights.

The changing role of fathers

Many men were once the primary sources of income for their family, and had little time left to attend to their children on a regular basis. A change in economic times has driven women out into the workforce. These women who have worked their way up the corporate ladder or have gone back to school for a professional degree, may make more money than their husbands. As a result, more men than ever before are staying at home with their children.

An increase in single-father households

A Pew Research Study concluded that the number of single-father households in America has risen from 1 percent in 1960 to over 8 percent in 2011. One reason for this influx of single-father households may be due to the abolishment of the 'tender years doctrine.' Years ago, judges often awarded custody to the mother based on this doctrine, which suggested that a child under 7-years-old should remain in her care. Many states threw out this way of thinking in 1994, and started awarding custody based off the child's best interest. In many cases, the best interest of the child results in the father being granted custody.

Considerations when awarding custody

When determining child custody in a divorce case, a judge will often consider the following, according to the Department of Child Welfare:

  • The parent's ability to provide a safe environment for the child.
  • Which parent has acted as primary caretaker for the child?
  • Is there any domestic violence present in the home?
  • The mental and physical health of the parent.
  • The emotional bond that exists with the parent.

In many cases, the judge will also take into consideration the living preference of an older child.

When to call a professional attorney

As fathers continue to fight for the right to care for their children and develop an emotional bond with them, experienced family lawyers are ready to walk them through the process. Partnering with an attorney can help to ensure you receive a successful outcome on your case.

Keywords: child custody, visitation, divorce

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