[S]even years before the 21st century, 15.9% of children were living with their fathers while the mother lived somewhere else. Almost 25 years later, has that number improved? In the U.S., how often do fathers really win full custody? There are a lot of sources, statistics and theorist that answer these questions, but let’s turn to Timothy Grall, of the U.S. Census, who released his “Current Population Report” in 2016 for facts.

Do Fathers Really Win Full Custody?

Not a lot has changed in 25 years, but Dads have seen a 1.6% increase. I have my own thoughts on to why the increase is so small, but more on that next time. Here are the cliffnotes of the study…

  • An estimated 13.4 million parents lived with 22.1 million children under 21 years of age while the other parent(s) lived somewhere else.
  • One of every six custodial parents (17.5%) were fathers.
  • The amount of custodial fathers is not necessarily increasing over time, but rather oscillates. It was down to 15.46% in 2001 and as high as 18.30% in 2011. It’s currently at 17.51% in 2013.
  • More than one-quarter (26.6%) of all children under 21 years of age lived in families with one one of their parents while the other parent lived elsewhere.
  • About 3/4s (74.1%) of custodial parents who were due child support in 2013 received either full or partial payments and less than half (45.6%) received full payments.
  • Dead beat Dads get a bad wrap. In truth, dead beat Moms had a high percentage of unpaid child support owed in 10 out of 11 bi-annuals than Dads in the same category. Definitely time the end the phrase.
  • The poverty rate of all custodial-parent families in 2013 was 28.8% (twice the national average).
  • Approximately half (48.7%) of all 13.4 million custodial parents had a court order or some type of agreement to receive financial support from the noncustodial parent(s) in 2014.
  • Outstanding child support rates are dropping but NOT for the good reasons you might expects. Non-receiving custodial parents are under 30 (30.3%), have less than a high school education (30.3%), have not contact with the other parent (32%) or were never married (34.1%).

[tweet “Dads do win primary custody, but only 17.5% of the time. – 2016 U.S. Census Report”]

Are More Dads Gaining Custody?

No, not really. For all the equality movements we have had in America, this is still an area that is truly lacking. A 1.6% increase is noted, but it is still very much within the margin of error. Is this discouraging if you are a good Dad seeking to gain custody? Not necessarily, but you certainly have your work cut out for you.

Average Dad. Yea you should be worried.

But then again, you’re probably not average if you’re reading this blog. More on that–next time.

Do you think it’s fair that only 17.5% of Dads have primary custody?

Feature paid image from Adobe Stock photos.