Not long ago, Illinois courts assumed that giving sole child custody to mothers was in the best interest of the child. In fact, it was not until the 1970s that most states began adopting new laws that treated mothers and fathers equally, as well as favoring joint custody over sole custody for one parent. While some believe that fathers are still discriminated against when it comes to equal custody decisions, studies have proven this to be untrue. Fathers’ rights groups have been perpetuating disinformation for over the last decade about how mothers are given preferential treatment by the courts. One Wisconsin study showed that from 1996 and 2007, divorce cases in which the mother was awarded sole custody dropped from 60.4 percent to just 45.7 percent, while shared custody increased from 15.8 percent to 30.8 percent in that same time period. Other studies have had similar findings. Yet, in some cases, fathers do face challenges.
Fathers Who Never Married the Mother of Their Child
While married mothers and fathers are generally treated equally in court when it comes to custody decisions, the same is not always true for fathers who were never married to their child’s mother. Children born out of wedlock are more likely to end up living with their mothers than fathers if it comes to a court decision.
White, College-Educated Fathers Pay Less Child Support Than Non-White, Poor Fathers
Race and income have a lot to do with how much child support a father will have to pay. In addition to wealthy men fighting against reforms that would require them to pay more in child support, white, college-educated men are more likely to get out of paying substantial child support, while poor fathers are more likely to be held accountable, tracked down, and put in jail for skipping on their child support payments....