When it comes to custody battles during a divorce, many men feel there is a societal gender bias against them from the outset. Whether that is true or not, it can affect not only how fathers respond to a judge’s decision concerning custody, but also their resolve to fight for what they want. To tell the truth, if you feel the deck is stacked against you, you may want to give up before the game has begun.
The role of the father before and after divorce
According to the Pew Research Center, during marriage mothers spend roughly twice the time that fathers do participating with their children in primary childcare activities. With the many two-income households that are the norm, this means that mothers not only work harder, but will more naturally bond more closely with the children in the formative years.
After divorce, only 22% of fathers see the children more than once a week, roughly a third of them see the kids one to four times per month, and nearly a third have no contact with the children at all. And in 51% of cases, the decision to give the mother custody was decided by both parents, not the judge.
The importance of not giving up
Fathers tend to view themselves as the breadwinners of the family, even when both parents work. When this attitude carries into divorce, it can make fathers less likely to fight for full or equal custody.
Of course, in determining custody in California, the court will consider several factors based on what is in the best interest of the child:
- The age and health of the child
- The emotional bond of the child to the parent(s)
- The ability of the parent(s) to care for the child
- Family history of domestic or substance abuse
- The child’s ties to school, home and community
Fathers also tend to evaluate the job they are doing as a parent according to how much time they spend with them. As it turns out, 44% of fathers who live with their children at least some of the time feel they are doing a very good job, while only 19% feel this way who do not live with their children.
The bottom line is, if a father wishes to keep his relationship with his kids and is willing to fight for it, he should also seek a family law attorney who will go to bat for him. There is fair and effective legal counsel available in the San Bernardino area that will assist in custody disputes and visitation rights.