There is a common assumption that if a couple has children, the mother will automatically get most of the parental rights and responsibilities in a divorce: the mother will get full custody and the father will only be able to visit with the children; the mother will have all decision-making rights for the children, regarding their schooling or healthcare or anything else; the father will pay child support and the mother will be the main parent in the child’s life. These assumptions are no longer accurate.
Every state has its own laws for this section of the law, and even within each state, every divorce is unique. There is no hard rule about “all” divorces being decided in any certain way. That means there is no reason to assume your spouse will get all the parental responsibilities in a divorce. If you are a father and are considering divorce, an experienced DuPage County, IL, divorce lawyer will be able to answer any questions and explain what you can expect with knowledge and sensitivity.
Why Are the Old Assumptions No Longer Valid?
The assumptions people had about divorce settlements are based on the greater assumptions that were commonly held about gender roles and parenting. People used to have ideas about what mothers and fathers do at home. Fathers were supposed to be the breadwinners and were not expected to be involved in raising their children. Mothers were expected to be responsible for the household, including all child-rearing, cooking, and cleaning, and were not expected to work.
These outdated assumptions about gender roles in a family are no longer as commonly held as they used to be, as more and more families are what is known as two-income households. These families’ finances depend on two parents working full-time. As parents have a somewhat equal share of time spent at work earning money, they can also both be expected to juggle the work-life balance to allow for equal involvement in raising their children.
As this becomes more prevalent, women are now applying for opportunities to a greater degree than they used to. With women having more earning potential than in years past, men are finding it less uncommon to be involved fathers, with many choosing to be stay-at-home dads. Even if they are working, fathers are being seen much more than in the past, dropping off or picking up their children from school and spending quality time together.
With these old assumptions becoming less common, assumptions about how a divorce will be settled are also evolving. With fathers typically being more involved in raising their children than they used to be, it is less common to see mothers automatically be granted full custody. It is feasible to assume that both parents can reach a divorce settlement, with the related division of parental rights and responsibilities that they can feel satisfied with.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Dupage County, IL, Paternal Rights Attorney
If you are a father and you find yourself worrying that your impending divorce will mean you are no longer allowed to be involved in raising your children, an experienced Wheaton, IL, divorce lawyer can answer your questions and advocate for your rights with compassion. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] to schedule your free consultation.