When you and your ex have kids, going through the process of a divorce and a custody battle is a stressful situation. You want to minimize the conflict of the divorce and make the transition as smooth as possible for your children. This leads many dads to wonder whether they have a shot at getting primary custody. You may question this because mothers are typically awarded custody.
According to a report by the Census, only one in six parents who have primary custody is the father. It is worth questioning why there is such a dramatic split between moms and dads who have custody. The following are three reasons why fathers get custody less frequently than mothers do:
1. Child’s best interest
It is the responsibility of the court to award custody to the parent who best serves the child’s best interest. Because this is such a subjective standard, and because mothers are often viewed as the primary parent regardless of individual circumstances, this may tip scales in a mom’s favor. Regardless, if you can prove that it is actually in the child’s best interest that you receive custody, you may win.
2. Primary caregiver
In addition to considering which custody arrangement is best for a child, the court will consider which parent is the primary caregiver in the household. If a father is the breadwinner and typically works while the mother provides care at home, this means that the mother may be more likely to receive custody. With the roles being reversed more frequently, though, this may not be applicable to your situation.
3. Fathers do not ask
The most common reason why mothers receive custody over fathers is the simple fact that many dads do not petition for custody of their children. Kids will usually be placed with the parent who requests custody if there is no dispute, and this is often the case with custody. You cannot get custody if you do not ask, so this is the first step for any dad who is seeking primary custody.