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Number Of Single Dads On The Rise
Number Of Single Dads On The Rise

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AIR DATE: July 11, 2013

GUESTS

Gretchen Livingston, Senior Researcher at the Pew Hispanic Center 

Marshal Willick, Family Law Attorney 

Mark Baxter, Chiropractor and Founder of the Baxter Health Center, single father

Eric Kosel, single father

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- According to a study by the Pew Charitable Trust, households headed by single fathers are on the rise, now comprising eight percent of homes with minors compared to 1960, when it was just one percent. And census data shows that Nevada has one of the highest rates for single father households in the U.S.

Numbers of these households are increasing, but are attitudes towards single dads following suit?

“Social mores have changed a bit,” says Mark Baxter, a chiropractor and single father since 1984. “It used to be that the woman’s role is in the home and the man’s role was at work. Those roles have changed over time to be much more flexible.”

Gretchen Livingston, who conducted the Pew Study, says it’s not just single fathers that are taking a greater role in parenting, but married fathers as well.

“In the mid 60s, dads in general spent about 2.5 hours a week with their kids. Now that number is up to seven hours a week. Now that’s still a lot less hours than moms spend with their kids, but that’s also a huge increase in the amount of time dad’s are spending with their kids. We see this as reflecting the fact that dads aren’t breadwinners anymore, but they’re also seen more as caregivers,” says Livingston.

Livingston adds that providing money isn’t even seen as the most important role of a parent. She says a recent survey by Pew says that measured the importance of four things that parents traditionally provide – income, emotional support, discipline and morals and values – a paycheck was ranked at the bottom of the list of importance for both mothers and fathers.

Marshal Willick, a family law attorney, says judges are growing increasingly gender blind during custody cases as well.

“Is there a subjective quality to the individuals involved that can seem unfair to a participant in a particular case? Sure,” says Willick. “Overall in our courts today our judges are highly sensitive to the needs of both parents and there is no pervasive genderic preference given in either direction.”

 

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    COMMENTS:
    Thank you for mentioning my first comment. How interesting that the response was that a judge can create financial equity. But they usually don't, do they? Of course my attorney and I asked for that. We were basically laughed and scoffed at at my ex and his attorney, as if that was unbelievably comical. I don't think his attorney would have felt so comfortable behaving that way if it wasn't so unheard of. I have never known a stay-at-home mom that was put in a post-divorce situation of financial equity. Never. And not just here.
    lived off her husbandJul 11, 2013 09:36:54 AM
    Let me add that judges are either men or, by definition, career women. My impression has been that they are predisposed negatively toward stay-at-home moms as lazy people who don't make money. No wonder that more men are getting custody.
    "lived off" her husbandJul 11, 2013 09:31:39 AM
    I don't know if I can listen to this. I sure hope you're going to talk to women who have been screwed by their ex-husbands. The judge split my kids up, presumably because he felt it was "fair". It wasn't fair, it was just plain stupid and wrong. I imagine that in other cases judges give custody to fathers do it because the fathers make more money. And I know that men who way out-earn their wives can keep dragging them back to court until they get what they want. Of course, after divorce my financial situation (and that of the child I got custody of) plummeted while my ex's got better. But that's okay; I'm just a lazy woman who lived off her husband while taking care of kids. (That's certainly how I was treated in court.) And so many men will defend this, with bitter anger toward their ex-wives. My father would never have let such a thing happen to his ex-wife and one of his children. He would've been too ashamed. And how can a judge sit there and act as if it's in the best interest of the children to split them? I'd like to say more, but I don't feel I can.
    lived off her husbandJul 11, 2013 09:20:11 AM
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