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Fathers still often not awarded primary custody

Although there have been major advances in gender equality, men in Texas and elsewhere are still not generally being awarded physical custody of their children following a divorce. In fact, the mothers are being awarded physical custody approximately 80 percent of the time.

A 2015 study from Stanford University showed that men were responsible for initiating less than 33 percent of all divorces. However, the mother is still often awarded custody of the children as she may still be seen as the primary nurturer while the father is still often seen as the primary disciplinarian. This also means that some courts may give higher regard to the mother as a result. Many fathers often choose to avoid going to court over custody issues.

Statistics from several state and federal studies show that children who grow up without their father being active in their everyday lives may be put at a disadvantage. For example, it was found that 90 percent of runaway and homeless children do not have their father in their lives. Further, 85 percent of youths who were sentenced to prison also did not have their father in their lives.

Child custody issues in Texas can be difficult and complex, especially if parents cannot reach a custody agreement that benefits the children and allows both parents to be active in the children's everyday lives. A family law attorney may assist with negotiating an agreement that may provide a person with adequate parenting time and legal custody. If a settlement cannot be reached, the attorney may be advocate for the parent during the child custody hearings.

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