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Mothers still get custody most of the time

According to relatively recent statistics from the government, most single parents are female. Overall, a little over four out of five children who live in single parent homes are living with their mother, while only about 18 percent live with their fathers the majority of the time.

One thing the statistics did not break out, however, is how many of those children who were living with their mothers had fathers who were also active and involved in their lives, such that the father would also want to seek out parenting time and even primary custody.

There could be any number of reasons why, despite changes in societal attitudes about men being caregivers, women still wind up taking on custody of their children most of the time. There may even be, for example, a lingering stigma in the legal system that mothers make better parents than fathers.

As this blog has previously discussed, however, under Arizona law, neither parent has a legal advantage when it comes to seeking custody and parenting time. Instead, a court will look at both parents' circumstances and backgrounds, as well as other factors, in order to determine the best interests of the child.

What this means is that a Phoenix-area father who wants to be involved in the lives of his children even if he is no longer in a relationship with the child's mother can, and should be encouraged to, pursue his fathers' rights to things like parenting time, legal decision-making authority and, in the right circumstances, even primary physical custody.

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