Some background information about child custody throughout recent history…
Roughly a century ago, children were considered the property of the father. In determining the outcome for child custody orders, courts most frequently awarded custody (and all property) to the father if there was a divorce. As women’s rights progressed throughout the last century, a shift in that mindset came to pass. The system shift began with the view that fathers were the family breadwinners and the mothers were the family child-rearers. This shift saw fathers generally get awarded property and assets, women get awarded custody of the children, and men would pay the mothers via child support orders and alimony.
Now, as society has continued to grow and evolve (not necessarily always in the best ways), fewer people were marrying, but they were still having children. Today, more than 40% of all children are born to unwed parents. Boost that number even higher when you factor-in divorced families and you have an astounding number of children growing up in one-parent households.
A recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that this 40%+ figure is fully a 25% increase from a period just 3-years earlier.
Click here to see the data: Changing Patterns of Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States
These rapidly changing circumstances result in overcrowded family court facilities, an explosion in child custody and child support related expenses, and a whole system of people getting rich on the destruction of the traditional family as we’ve known it.
Lately, a new shift is only just beginning to take hold in the United States. Such a change was seen when we went from children being the property primarily of fathers to children being primarily the property of mothers.
Times continue to change.
The pendulum is swinging back in the direction of fathers, but not all the way back. Children truly do need both parents. A shift back towards the middle – towards shared parenting – is a very good thing when both parents are fit to be just that – parents. The gender of a parent is losing it’s death-grip on the mindset of family court and “the parent” is starting to gain ground, if very slowly. Mothers and fathers are equally capable of loving, nurturing, teaching, caring for, and all of those things every parent should strive to be for their children.
Since women currently make up roughly equal representation in the workplace, fathers who are either married or unmarried are slowly increasing their chances of gaining a 50% time share or close to equal child custody arrangements.
With the almost unbelievable statistics showing just how many children are being born out of wedlock along with those who are left in one-parent situations as the result of divorce, any trend towards giving fit and willing parents maximum time with their children is – good for the children.