Fathers’ rights, part 2: More men are purposefully stepping forward

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, June 25, 2014.

As has been often remarked upon in media articles focusing on family law over the past few years, important aspects surrounding fathers’ involvement in their kids’ lives following divorce have undergone a material evolution.

It takes only a cursory look at family-related television shows from bygone decades to note the change. In former times, it seemed commonplace — an absolute normalcy — for a dad to essentially be invisible around the house. Fathers worked outside the home, earning the income that supported their families.

In this now largely stereotypical world, moms customarily ran the households, being the central stay-at-home presence in charge of all home-related matters, including the important task of raising the children.

Thus, it seemed altogether natural that in the realm of divorce, commonly perceived gender lines would be acknowledged and play out in dissolution outcomes. In most cases, the kids would remain with mom, who would have full child custody rights. Dad would be granted some limited visitation rights and be tasked with child support obligations.

Although that outcome still occurs in divorces in Illinois, Missouri and nationally, it is far less common than it once was. Important changes have occurred in family law in recent years, including a growing judicial recognition that many men are hands-on parents deeply involved in their children’s lives. Moreover, far more women in divorce matters these days work outside the home than was the case in the past, and judges have increasingly noted that in their divorce rulings.

As a result, growing numbers of divorces now call for shared parental custody and flexible parenting plans that allow for the truly meaningful involvement of both parents.

That increasingly means the close and ongoing involvement of fathers who cherish their connections with their children and want to always be close at hand for them.

Unsurprisingly, studies from across a wide universe of academic fields stress the invaluable benefits for children that flow from a continuous and loving parental relationship.

That means nurturing and ongoing care from mom — and dad.

Source: Detroit Free Press, “More dads demand equal custody rights, reject child-support arrangements of yesterday,” Sharon Jayson (USA TODAY), June 14, 2014

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