While getting a divorce in Texas, many parents argue about who should get custody of the children. While fathers do not ask for custody as often as mothers do, they may nonetheless end up in a situation where women get full custody. In these situations, they generally have to pay child support, but there is no guarantee that they will actually get to spend time with their child. Joint custody helps to prevent this, making it mandatory for children to spend time with both parents, even if the split is not 50/50.
According to the National Public Radio, except in cases with domestic violence or where one parent is unfit, joint custody better represents the interests of the children. When children spend a significant amount of time with each parent, they tend to do better emotionally and academically. That said, a 50/50 split creates issues when parents live far apart. It might also make it impossible for one parent to pursue any opportunities that take them away from a particular side of town. If parents do not get along, seeing each other that often could also spell trouble.
Some advocates believe that fathers should have equal rights to mothers as they are now spending more time than ever before with their children. However, as several women’s rights groups have pointed out in the past, women are still overwhelmingly the caretakers from conception to birth to raising the children. This often makes it difficult for judges to draw a truly equal line in a custody battle.
In fact, Business Insider notes that even when both parents work, men still only account for 41% of the time spent with the kids on average. Naturally, it is much lower when only the man is the breadwinner. Even so, this is a lot higher than it used to be even ten years ago. Because of this, children feel the separation more sharply when fathers are cut out from their lives, which can result in “father hunger,” especially for boys.
Joint custody is not right for every family and sometimes 50/50 splits are just not feasible. However, when parents can continue to share parenting responsibilities equitably, the children may stand to benefit.