Though Pennsylvania law is not supposed to favor one gender over the other when it comes to child custody, there are many people who feel as if father's have a more difficult time getting a fair child custody arrangement. Maybe the court believes that a child needs more time with his or her mother. Maybe the court thinks that because the mother was a stay-at-home parent that it is in the child's best interests to stay with the mother. Regardless of why, it is important that fathers, just like mothers, have their parental rights respected when it comes to child custody and support.
There has certainly been a societal shift in parenting roles and what is expected of fathers in the past several decades. At one point in time, the father was expected to earn money to support the family while the mother stayed at home and raised the children. Now, fathers and mothers often do both, sharing child-rearing responsibilities. It seems this has led to an increasing number of fathers who are concerned that if they divorce that their ex-wives will try to prevent them from having meaningful relationships with their children.
And, thus, many divorcing fathers are working hard to get custody of their children. They are working with family law lawyers to not only show the court that they deserve more than minimal visitation or overnight visits, but that they should be and will be an integral part of their child's lives.
While Pennsylvania does not have any laws that allow for family court judges to automatically give more custody to mothers than fathers, some judges' bias, if left unchecked, can skew in favor of mothers.
Source: USA Today, "More dads demand equal custody rights, reject child-support arrangements of yesterday," Sharon Jayson June 14, 2014