Nearly everyone from childhood experts to family court judges agrees that children benefit from loving relationships with both parents. Despite this, fathers in Alabama and other southeastern states often get less custody time than mothers do following their divorce.
A study conducted by Custody X Change found that dads in Alabama only receive 33.7% of custody time. Alabama’s percentage places the state in the 21st spot for custody time awarded to the noncustodial parent (usually the father).
Key findings from the study about fathers and custody
Over the years, it has been hard to develop an accurate account of how much custody American fathers get on average. However, because the Custody X Change study polled family law attorneys in all 50 states, it provides a pretty accurate picture. Other findings include the following:
- Politics may play a role in how much time divorced fathers get with their kids.
- Red states, including Alabama, appear to award the least amount of child custody to noncustodial dads at 32.1%.
- Blue states, in contrast, give noncustodial fathers a little more custody time at 36.6%.
- Purple swing states give divorced dads the most custody time at 40.2%.
- Purple states also award the highest percentage of shared custody at 59%.
- Red and blue states hand out shared custody awards at 22% and 40%, respectively.
This may indicate that traditional notions of parenting tend to prevail in more conservative areas, while areas that lean liberal or independent are more open to the modern idea that parenting is best when it is shared.
As you can see, most states need to put more effort into awarding equal custody to both parents. Equal time means that children can build strong relationships with each parent, generally improving their quality of life after a divorce.
What does it all mean for your custody battle?
From the viewpoint of divorced fathers, it means that there is no better time to fight for your custody rights as a dad. The nation remains poised for change in how family courts address child custody. As more fathers stand up for their rights, more courts will see that dads and their kids want and need more time together.