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Single fathers should feel comfortable asking for custody

Posted On behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Feb 27, 2014 in Child Custody

Not that long ago, the thought of a single father raising his children alone was something suspicious, something to be pitied and something decidedly unnatural. Even Hollywood bought into the belief that children need mothers, showing widowers struggling to raise a child, even though the mother character had died years earlier. Though single fathers may not be the norm, they at least are not considered the rare oddity that they once were.

Households led by single fathers are increasing and numbered over 2.6 million in 2011, which is still less than the 8.6 million households led by single mothers. One of the many reasons as to why there are far fewer single fathers than there are single mothers is because many fathers don't think courts will award them much physical custody, so they are willing to accept less during divorce settlement negotiations.

For Connecticut fathers who truly want a fair custody arrangement, however, working with a family law attorney to push for more parenting time is key. Perhaps the mother will be willing to negotiate for a fairer custodial split; perhaps it will end up before a judge and he or she will be willing to give the father more time. Regardless, the only way for fathers to get greater custodial access to their children is by pushing for it.

While the courts traditionally favored placing children with their mothers, that bias should no longer color judges' and family law attorneys' decisions. If a father wants more custody or sole custody, his gender should not automatically disqualify him.

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