Nancy L. Sponseller

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Single fathers growing in number

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

A trend that has been evolving regarding child custody is starting to pick up steam due to new legislation and changes in society. Ohio fathers may be interested in an article examining this increase in men as single parents after divorce.

Data compiled by Pew Research Center shows that men are now becoming single fathers in increasingly higher numbers, with the number of households with minor children headed by single dads increasing from just 300,000 in 1960 to around 2.6 million in 2011. This is a nearly nine-time increase in the numbers. The growing acceptance of men as single fathers may be one reason for the increase in the numbers. Additionally, with more couples with children divorcing or never getting married in the first place, men have more opportunity to gain full custody of their children.

These trends are being helped along by legislation in some states as well. Five states have passed laws that require courts to adopt a default shared custody position when deciding parenting time. This is different than the traditional method of letting courts decide custody in the best interests of the child, which generally left the child in the custody of the mother. Now, men are feeling more empowered to assert these parental rights, leading to more instances of fathers getting full custody of their children.

Child custody disputes can be very emotionally trying both for the parents and the children in the middle. Whether looking to create a shared parenting time agreement or planning visitation rights, an attorney may be able to help negotiate and draft an agreement that is fair to all of the parties.

Source: The Atlantic, “The Rise of the Single Dad“, Caroline Kitchener, February 21, 2014