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2.6 million households are headed by single fathers

It is hardly news to people in Bucks County that many marriages will end in divorce. While there are certainly many couples who would much rather be divorced but who will stay together for the children, divorce is also increasingly common among Pennsylvania parents, too. And, with divorce, comes child custody and visitation orders.

There are not many parents who are interested in having a judge tell them how mcuh time they can spend with their children, but, when parents divorce, that is often what happens. If the parents can't come to an agreement on how much time they should get, then it is often up to a judge or a mediator to figure out what will be in the child's best interest.

Fortunately for men, what is increasingly in the child's best interest is having a relationship with his or her father. In fact, the number of single fathers is on the rise, up to 2.6 million in 2011. This has been a significant increase over the 300,000 households with minor children in 1960 that have a single father as a head of household. Surprisingly, however, many state laws are actually encouraging a relatively equal amount of parenting time.

It seems that many women are not interested in continuing to interact with their ex-spouses. It would seem that many women want sole custody, but, if they can't have it, would prefer the father to have sole custody over having to share custody with him. Regardless of how parents wish to divide or assign parenting time, it is often up to family law attorneys to try to craft an agreement that will be sufficient for both parents.

Source: The Atlantic, "The Rise of the Single Dad," Caroline Kitchener, Feb. 24, 2014

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