In our last post we focused on how some fathers feel unfairly treated when it comes to divorce, especially in terms of being ordered to pay lifetime alimony to an ex-wife who is fully capable of working. However, this is not the only form of gender discrimination, as many men also claim to experience sexism when it comes to child custody.
David Benatar’s monograph The Second Sexism brings up a number of different disadvantages experienced by men around the country. Child custody is one of the big ones.
According to Benatar, men only receive child custody in about 10 percent of U.S. divorce cases.
Granted, some courts are starting to step away from the long tradition of women receiving custody, but many men will still experience a rather uphill battle when trying to be the primary caregivers of their children after a divorce. This is due to the fact that many still view husbands and wives in the stereotypical way of the 1950s with the men being breadwinners and the wives being caregivers.
This being said, if joint custody or primary custody is the end goal for a father, he should keep in mind there are certain things that can increase the chances of being granted primary or shared custody. For example, living in a good school district, being able to prove how a work schedule will be conduscive to raising a child, and making sure the family home is as comfortable and safe as possible are all good things to do before walking into the courtroom.
An attorney with experience handling fathers’ rights can also remind a father of these things and can work toward protecting a father’s best interests.
Source: The Atlantic, “When Men Experience Sexism,” Noah Berlatsky, May 29, 2013