Whether you’re headed toward a divorce, or you were never married to your children’s other parent, child custody can be a sensitive subject. With or without a marriage certificate, being a good parent to your children is probably the most important job in the entire world to you, and it should be.
Historically, child custody cases favored the mothers in a divorce or breakup and you’re probably well-aware of this fact. After all, throughout your lifetime, you probably saw more mothers end up with primary custody of their children than fathers. But, much has changed in the past twenty years in regards to child custody.
In Nevada, California and across the nation, courts have changed their operating basis. Rather than automatically assuming a mother was the better choice in a child custody dispute, the family courts have worked hard to become gender neutral. Meaning, the courts no longer presume that a couple’s children should live with the mother. This is good news for fathers and evens the playing field among the sexes.
We Must Accept that Times Have Changed
Why have courts changed their attitudes towards fathers in child custody cases? One of the reasons is the fact that more mothers are working than they did in the past. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Almost 47 percent of U.S. workers are women." The DOL continues, “Seventy percent of mothers with children under 18 participate in the labor force, with over 75 percent employed full-time.”
“Mothers are the primary or sole earners for 40 percent of households with children under 18 today, compared with 11 percent in 1960,” reports the DOL.
Times have changed, and so has the family courts’ attitudes toward child custody. As courts have adapted to society’s changes and parenting behaviors, the courts have decided to make child custody decisions that are in the best interests of the children, and this means giving fathers equal consideration in child custody disputes.
Reasons Why a Father May Win Custody
Whenever there is a question about a mother or father’s parenting abilities, the court will consider the same factors. However, this post is focused on the issue of fathers winning custody. In light of this, here are the common reasons why a father may try to win custody:
- The mother is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
- The mother suffers from a mental disorder.
- The mother is engaged in criminal behavior.
- The mother is incarcerated.
- The mother abuses her children.
- The mother has endangered her children’s safety.
- The mother does not ensure her children attend school.
- The mother cannot provide proper food, clothing and shelter for her children.
- The mother allows unsavory individuals to be around her children, placing them in danger of physical or sexual abuse or neglect.
- The mother is homeless.
In Las Vegas, Henderson and throughout Clark County, there are many nice places to raise a family; however, there’s a dark side to Las Vegas and unfortunately, some parents living in the area fall victim to temptation. They develop bad habits or have relationships with the wrong people, which affect their parenting abilities. Whether this means substance abuse, alcoholism, uncontrollable gambling, or something else sinister, it can trickle down to children and affect their emotional and physical well-being.
Can fathers win custody of their children? Absolutely, especially when a mother is unable to act in her children’s best interests. However, if a loving mother is a decent human being and does not have issues with substance abuse or domestic violence, more often than not, the family courts will encourage a child custody arrangement that involves having both the mother and father actively engaged in the child’s life; this often translates to a joint or shared custody arrangement. Suggested reading: “Child Custody: Should I Move Out?”
To learn more about child custody and a father’s rights, contact our firm to meet with a Las Vegas family law attorney.