Texas parents going through or considering a divorce may be interested in the findings of a recent Pew Research Center study. The study found that there has been a significant increase in the percentage of households with minor children headed by a single father between 1960 and 2011. During the same time period, single mother homes increased as well, but not by nearly the same percentage.
Changing child custody laws in many states around the country may have helped drive the increase. States began enacting legislation in the early 2000s that shifted toward favoring joint physical custody instead of previous legislation that favored awarding custody to mothers. However, issues that can arise in shared custody made parents decide shared custody wouldn’t be best for their children.
Many parents may feel that the toll of moving between two homes on a regular basis may harm their children. Joint custody may also mean that parents have to live within the same school district, which can create issues. Finally, the simple fact that joint custody often means more interaction between exes can be a huge issue for some parents. Because of these problems, many mothers may agree to give up physical custody if a father is in a good position to care for the children.
While many people may fear child custody litigation, only around five percent of child custody cases end up in court. Often, one parent is better situated to care for the children due to job requirements, financial resources or other reasons. In other cases, joint custody works well for both parents and children. Working together to find a positive solution for both parents and children may allow a divorcing couple to avoid a difficult child custody dispute.
Source: The Atlantic, “The Rise of the Single Dad“, Caroline Kitchener, February 24, 2014