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Primary custody: Single-father families increasing

Families headed by single fathers are, according to reports that look into trends of single fathers, the fastest growing household in the United States. In Pennsylvania and across the country, more and more fathers have primary custody and are raising their children after divorce, rather than just widowhood, as was the most common condition of single fatherhood in the past. However, these households are still at a low percentage compared to other households and are still not seeing as much assistance as single mother households do.

Single fathers who manage to gain custody of their children tend to have a sort of reluctance to fight for child support payments, even if they may need them to remain financially stable. These fathers are said to fear that the children's mother will be able to somehow regain custody and take the children away from the father. This is caused by many unfair misperceptions of father's abilities to care for their children, especially considering the traditional motherly role a woman has with children.

However, this goes against many of the parental rights a father in Pennsylvania and anywhere else should have to raising their children. Currently, out of single parent households, one in six are headed by fathers and this trend is continuing to grow. Hopefully, though, as more fathers prove themselves just as able as mothers, there will be more circumstances of fathers being awarded primary custody over potentially unsuitable mothers who might have won custody in the past due to long-held misconceptions.

Source: Examiner.com, "Census data identifies more single fathers," Wendell Hutson, April 20, 2012

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