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More single fathers getting sole child custody

Texas fathers going through a divorce may feel like there is a stigma about being a single father with sole child custody. Women are traditionally seen as the primary caregivers to children, and men are not considered to be as competent or skilled at taking care of their own kids.

However, traditional gender stereotypes are slowly changing. In 1960, only one percent of households with minor children were headed by single fathers compared to eight percent in 2011. At the same time, single-mother households have quadrupled, with both increases due in part to an overall rise in both the divorce rate and the number of parents having children out of wedlock.

As society has changed and divorce has become more common, people have started to realize that the traditional notion that women should have sole child custody may also be ripe for change. Previously, the "best interest of the child" guideline was often equated with giving the mother sole custody. Now, legislation in some states has been passed that provides for a "joint parenting" standard.

Many fathers have become heartened by the fact that judges may now be more inclined to hear their requests for joint custody. In the past, they may have assumed that they would be unsuccessful in a custody battle and thus agreed early on to give sole custody to the mother. However, changing attitudes may inspire fathers to seek sole custody, especially since some women may even favor giving sole custody to the father over determining a complicated joint custody schedule. A parent going through a divorce may want to consult a family law attorney to discuss custody options.

Source: The Atlantic , "The Rise of the Single Dad", Caroline Kitchener , February 24, 2014

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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