We are all familiar with the familial stereotype of yesteryear where the father works out of the home and the mother stays home to care for the children. However, as time moves on, this stereotype falls by the wayside. More women are working outside the home, there are more households were both parents work, and there are more stay-at-home dads.
As the typical familial dynamic changes, so, too, does the stereotypical divorce, particularly the area of child custody. Whereas mothers were once almost guaranteed sole custody of their children when a divorce occurred, now more and more fathers are seeking shared custody and equal parenting time of their children in divorce agreements. In fact, a 2012 study found that 21 percent of stay-at-home fathers did so in order to take care of their family. This was an increase of 16 percent from 1989. Researchers believe the shift can be attributed to the changing economy and women’s growing importance in the workplace.
Though divorce, in general, can be difficult, child custody in particular can be heart-wrenching. Most parents simply want what is in the best interests of the child, but agreeing on how to best support those interests can be hard. A family law attorney may be able to help a divorcing father assess his situation to determine if sole custody with visitation rights or joint custody is right.
A judge considers many factors when making a child custody determination, but he or she will always focus on what is best for the child. He or she may consider each parent’s bond with the child, income, home stability, and history of substance abuse and violence, amongst others. A lot of issues can be put on a table during child custody hearings, so those who wish to protect themselves and their children should be fully prepared. An experienced Arizona attorney can help ensure proper steps are taken to reach the best outcome possible.