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

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AIR DATE: August 20, 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 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 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:
    Great segment. Marshall Willick provided tremendous legal knowledge. I am in a custody battle for my 4 year-old son in Clark County. I empathize with other fathers facing the daunting challenge of gaining full custody of their children. Keep acting in your child's best interest. Always make them your top priority.
    sean Aug 20, 2013 09:45:47 AM
    He is telling his side of the story. But, where is the mother to defend herself? We actually do not know the whole story. Though I do think its great fathers are taking responsibility for taking care of their children. But, should not be praised for doing what they are suppose to be doing for spawning children. I do not come from a macho influence. But, I do come from a family no matter what the situation is a father should always take care of the children they spawn.
    TonyAug 20, 2013 09:19:40 AM
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