When most people in Saline County think about single parents and child custody following a divorce, they think of mothers raising children, and this is not wholly inaccurate. It is true that some fathers will have nothing to do with their children, leaving the children’s mother to raise them alone, but there are a number of women who have primary physical custody for no apparent reason.
For fathers seeking primary custody of their children, the statistics are grim. According to The Atlantic, only 10 percent of fathers will receive primary custody of their children following divorce. While some of the fathers in Arkansas will have equal custody or visitation with their children, a number of fathers receive less-than-equal time with their children merely because the presumption is that women will receive custody.
At one point in our history, it was clear that, unless there was some extremely serious reason why the mother shouldn’t have custody of the children, the father would not receive primary custody. While there is officially no reason why the mother should automatically receive a better custody decision, it is clear that there is still an unfair bias against men in Arkansas family courts.
At the very least, Arkansas men should be able to receive equal custody time with their children, and there is no reason why there shouldn’t be more fathers with primary custody. Unfortunately, with the way that our legal system works, there continues to be a prejudice against men in family court. This is why it is crucial for men seeking equal or primary custody to work with a competent fathers’ rights attorney.
Source: The Atlantic, “When Men Experience Sexism,” Noah Berlatsky, May 29, 2013