Fathers in Arizona may be concerned about their rights when it comes time to seek custody of their children in family court. Over the years, many people have come to believe that fathers are likely to suffer from a bias that makes them more likely to have less time to spend with their children or be denied child custody altogether. Many of these beliefs come from historic approaches to custody, although these have changed over the years. Research backs up the idea that children benefit from having a strong relationship with both parents, and fathers who actively pursue custody are even more likely than mothers to successfully receive child custody.
In the past, women were far more apt to provide primary care to their children. Women were less likely to work in jobs outside the home except when absolutely necessary. At the same time, men generally were seen as having less of a role to play in child care except in terms of providing financial support. These types of gender stereotypes excluded women from the workplace and many areas of achievement at the same time that they functioned to keep fathers distant from their children. Mothers almost received custody by default except in circumstances where they were clearly unfit, and fathers were expected to provide support and have minimal visitation.
Modern family courts, however, take a more equal approach to child custody disputes. Fathers may be primary caregivers, and joint or shared custody tends to be preferred as a default arrangement. The specific schedules for custody or visitation may vary according to family needs.
Any parent may benefit from being prepared for a child custody hearing by having evidence of his or her connection with his or her child. A family law attorney may help a parent be granted a fair custody order and parenting plan.