Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Single mom and dad compare child custody -- inequalities prevalen

Recently, there have been multiple discussions about equal parenting after divorce in Massachusetts. Many believe joint child custody should be the norm rather than the exception; others are concerned that this may -- in the majority of the cases -- not be in the best interests of the children. A divorced woman recently compared the roles of single mothers as opposed to single fathers after she married a divorced father. They were both divorced with children for seven years before this marriage and compared notes about their times as single parents.

While this comparison refers to their situation specifically, it provides a general view of such circumstances. The newly-wed mother said that in contrast to single mothers, who are often seen as threats to the marriages of other mothers, men are welcomed to moms' groups and praised for being heroes. She observed that help with meals and childcare was offered to this man, who had the children for a few days at a time, while the mother with no financial support, a full-time job and full custody went unnoticed.

Another observation was the fact that so many single mothers stay at home and expect to be supported by ex-husbands, while single stay-at-home fathers are few and far between. Why are single mothers automatically seen as adequate parents while the domestic capabilities of a single father are often doubted? This mother's experience confirmed that men are capable of menu planning, grocery shopping and kiddies' party planning along with car and house maintenance.

Even though the concept of joint child custody and equal parenting is slowly catching on, in many cases, fathers have to fight much harder for parenting rights than mothers. However, the help of an experienced divorce attorney may provide the necessary guidance to achieve the best possible result. Children deserve the love and attention of both parents, and a seasoned Massachusetts family law attorney may help preserve parent-child relationships after a divorce.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Inequalities In Single Parenting", Leah Dillon, Aug. 5, 2016

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