Almost a quarter of American fathers live apart from some or all of their children. That may be due to divorce, a breakup, or individual reasons. Child custody arrangements are generally supposed to support strong relationships between children and both of their parents. Nevertheless, a sense persists that fathers receive less favorable arrangements than mothers do.
Ohio law prohibits favoring one parent over the other due to gender. An experienced divorce or family law attorney can help you make a case for the custody and parenting time arrangements that work for you and your kids, whether you are getting a divorce or aren’t married.
Still, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center indicates that most fathers still feel they don’t get enough time with their children. The survey didn’t focus specifically on whether parents felt they had received fair child custody and parenting arrangements. It sought to discover their feelings more generally. Still, the results are quite interesting.
According to the survey, 63 percent of fathers feel they spend too little time with their kids. About 36 percent said they spent about the right amount of time with them and less than 1 percent felt they spent too much.
Among mothers, the results were a bit different. A majority — 53 percent — of moms felt they spent about the right amount of time with their children. About 12 percent said they spent too much time with their kids, and about 35 percent wanted more time.
Even more fathers — 69 percent — without bachelor’s degrees were unsatisfied with the amount of time they had with their kids. Education level had little impact on how mothers felt.
For both fathers and mothers, the top reason cited for spending too little time with the kids was work obligations. As you might expect, more working moms said they spent too little time with their kids. Forty-three percent who worked full time said so, compared with 28 percent of those who were unemployed or worked part time.
Still, about 20 percent of fathers said the main reason they spent too little time with their children was that they did not live with them full time.
The statistics don’t prove that fathers are getting less favorable child custody and visitation orders. Instead they might mean, for example, that fathers only believe that to be the case. Or, it could show a growing interest among men in spending more time with their children than they traditionally have.
What we do know for sure is that parenting is very important to the vast majority of fathers.