father’s job was to provide an income for the household and the mother’s role was to take care of the household. There are still many families that embrace this traditional family setup, but there are more women in the workforce now than there has even been. In addition to this, fathers are spending more time with their children.
The Pew Charitable Trusts notes that married fathers spent 7.3 hours in 2010 caring for their children. This was far higher than what it was in 1965. While 7.3 hours per week is a mere fraction of how much time it takes to raise a child, and subsequently, how much time mothers spend caring for children, it nonetheless shows that fathers are developing a stronger and more personal bond with their children. These figures also do not illustrate the fact that there are households where responsibility for raising the child is either shared almost equally with the wife or is the sole responsibility of the husband.
Because of these changes in family dynamics, more fathers have become vocal about their rights after a separation. Fathers are no longer content to cut a check and focus on their career. They want to play active roles in their children’s lives. This led many organizations to question why fathers are not more often the custodial parent, but a study shows that this is mostly because fathers do not ask. When they do, they have a 70% chance of obtaining custody.
But what about unmarried fathers? Do they have rights? According to ChildWelfare.gov, unmarried fathers do have rights and may assert their paternity. They may do this by following any of the many available routes to establish a legal, paternal relationship to their child, sometimes even in cases where they are not the biological father.