Dads seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to divorce–or do they? Common myths about how the divorce process affects fathers in particular have been circulating for years, and rarely are they ever in dad’s favor.
Today, though, we’re going to clear the air and tackle three of these myths about divorce and fatherhood. We want to dispel this misinformation so that dads going through a divorce can have some idea of what to expect moving forward.
- Myth One: Mother Knows Best
Culturally-speaking, we’re still inclined to believe that mothers ultimately make the best choice for primary custodians of their children. However, this notion flies in the face of a growing body of social science research suggesting that fathers bring invaluable traits to parenthood that unquestionably benefit a child.
We’re not here to give single moms a bad name, of course. It’s just that fathers also provide unique social, mental, and emotional benefits for their kids, regardless of their relationship with the mother. One study shows that teenagers with engaged and affectionate fathers are significantly more likely to stay out of trouble and enjoy improved emotional health overall.
- Myth Two: Dads Never Get Custody
Just as we previously discussed, there’s a cultural misconception that moms should get primary custody of the kids simply because they’re the mother. While there is a grain of truth to this (only one out of every five primary custodial parents are fathers), fathers are increasingly becoming the primary custodian of choice in American divorce proceedings.
However, this cultural bias sometimes prevents dads from asking for full custody, simply because they believe they won’t get it. Fortunately, one study in Massachusetts that followed 2,100 fathers who pushed for sole custody debunked this idea, as 93% of these fathers ended up winning.
- Myth Three: Child Support Orders Are Unfair to Dads
It’s true that some states’ child support calculation guidelines are unfair to the non-custodial parent, but this applies equally to men and women. Many of these guidelines have long since become outdated, as they fail to take into account more modern family dynamics, such as double-income households, mothers who are the breadwinners of the family, and large discrepancies between incomes.
Other guidelines also fail to consider custody agreements where a child equally splits time between their parents. In these cases, the default statutory child support amounts may be unfair, as one parent has to pay more than the other even though they both spend just as much time with the child.
Contact Andrea L. Gamalski, Attorney & Counselor at Law
Navigating the divorce process without knowing what’s true and what’s not can be messy and overwhelming. However, our team provides our clients with the knowledgeable and empathetic legal counsel that helps streamline the process and put any of their fears to rest. To learn more about how we can help you take the first step to a happier family dynamic, call us today at 1-845-853-8036.