An old saying goes something along the lines of, “If you think it’s a man’s world, wait until you get divorced.” Divorce court was regarded as the place where women came out on top as the parent of choice and recipient of substantial spousal support awards, leaving the husband with limited access to his children and a difficult existence on a reduced income.
What makes common myths about men and divorce so difficult to dispel is that until fairly recently, they were reality.
Mothers prevailed because they were regarded as more natural caregivers and needed financial support to compensate for their tendency to leave the workforce to raise their families. While some women still opt for parenthood over a career, the majority strive to complete their education and achieve economic self-sufficiency before they think about having children.
Social traditions have changed, but there are three myths about men and divorce that have yet to follow suit. Let’s take a closer look at each one below.
Three Common Myths about Men and Divorce
1. The Mother Always Gets Custody
In practice, this one is true. In most divorce cases, the mother takes physical custody of the children and the father receives visitation while paying child support. In 2010 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that only one in six single custodial parents were men.
What’s different today is that this outcome is no longer automatic. With all factors being equal, mothers and fathers have equal custody rights, and in cases where the mother receives physical custody, it is usually the result of an agreement between the spouses.
2. Single Fathers Aren’t Good Parents
In 2018, the UK organization YouGov published the results of a recent survey. It suggested that one-third of mothers thought they were better parents than their partners while 32% of fathers thought their parenting skills were inferior compared to their wives or girlfriends.
While mothers have traditionally spent more time caring for their children, this may have more to do with social and cultural expectations than evolution. Today, family dynamics are rapidly changing, with women not being the only ones staying at home or even being the primary caregiver. Gender has no role in a parent’s ability to love and guide their children.
3. Men Can’t Get Spousal Support
In 2014, Forbes published US census figures showing that of all the divorced individuals receiving spousal maintenance, only 3% were men, although 40% of households were headed by female breadwinners. The article concluded that thousands of men are technically eligible for spousal support but few ask for it.
There is a huge difference between not being eligible for spousal support and simply not applying for it. Many men who qualify refuse to do so, seeing it as emasculating, but this is another socially-influenced mindset that is gradually changing.
Consult a Georgia Men’s Rights Attorney
Divorce is a stressful event, and men often feel that the family court system favors women, especially with regard to custody and support issues. At Atlanta Family & Immigration Law, our Atlanta divorce attorneys are here to help you fight for your rights as a father and ensure that you receive a fair outcome in questions of custody, support obligations and property division. To schedule a consultation, call (678) 679-6415 or contact us.