More dads being awarded shared custody

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

The court system in Missouri used to favor mothers when it came to child custody decisions. However, now with changes in many American families, judges are awarding split custody with dad getting equal time to raise the kids.

In looking at how divorce and subsequent settlements have changed over time, one has to first look at the typical family in the 1950s. In most families, the wife stayed home to care for the children while the husband went off to work in order to financially provide for his family. Many times this arrangement meant in divorce that the mother would continue her role as the primary caregiver, while the father would pay child support and alimony.

However, since the 1950s the times have changed with many women now being the breadwinners and the fathers staying home to raise the children. In these situations, this means the father could end up being awarded primary or shared custody with the wife paying child support and alimony.

In addition to the shift in American family trends, many mental health professionals believe that even if a father did not take on full-time parenting responsibilities during the marriage, divorce can still make both mothers and fathers better parents. Therefore, even if the dad was not a stay-at-home father, the courts may still lean toward shared custody.

For Missouri fathers this is certainly welcoming news. No longer are they the ones to lose parental rights. Rather, when it comes to family law issues, the playing field is starting to even between women and men.

Source: Huffington Post, “Child Custody and the Working Mom,” Lisa Helfend Meyer, June 1, 2013

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