The new ‘new normal’

Men who are fighting to continue to stay in their children’s lives and winning is going to be the norm. Once fathers see other men fighting a court system that was biased towards mothers for decades and winning, the games couples play while dealing with custody issues will quickly come to an end.

I found this great article in Bloomberg News and thought I’d share:


Matt Abourezk, 49, a single father in Darien, Connecticut,
said the idea of only occasional contact with his two sons was unthinkable.
He and his ex-wife readily agreed to trade weeks with the children

Joe Cioffi, a physician from Fairfield, Connecticut, settled for visitation rights to his son after he and the boy’s mother split up. Soon, he decided that wasn’t enough, so he spent four years struggling to win primary custody.

“Why should I be the underdog here?” Cioffi, 59, said of his clash with his former girlfriend. “I’m a professional. I pay my bills. I’m not a criminal. I’m home at night. So we played hardball.”

Cioffi’s custody victory and living arrangement encapsulate two distinct changes driving a 27.3 percent jump in U.S. families led by single fathers in the past decade, according to figures released from the 2010 census. While the number of single dads remains small, greater acceptance of shared custody and more unmarried couples have altered traditional ideas of child rearing, demographic experts said.

“It’s time for us to stop assuming that single parents are always women,” said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. “There is a visible presence now of single men caring for their kids. We didn’t see that a few decades ago.”

Single dads now account for 8 percent of American households with children, up from 6.3 percent in 2000 and 1.1 percent in 1950, census data show. Cioffi’s community has outpaced the national rise in households led by single fathers. (His former girlfriend, through her attorney Janis Laliberte, declined to comment for this story.)

Single-Father Surge

The number in Fairfield County rose 31 percent during the decade, to 5,457 from 4,167, three times the growth in single mothers, who were up 10.1 percent to 21,811, according to the census. Fairfield, which has 335,545 total households, is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation with a median household income of $81,114.

Male same-sex households with related children are a small portion nationwide and in Connecticut, where they made up 828 of the state’s 1,371,087 households in 2010, census data show.

As fathers have gotten more involved in the lives of their children and mothers have increasingly entered the workforce, it has become less unusual for fathers to seek and gain custody.

“If the dad is really interested in getting custody and wants to have a relationship with his kids, he is far more successful than he was 20 years ago,” said Margaret Brinig, a family law professor at the University of Notre Dame.

Read more HERE

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