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More moms working, facing child custody challenges

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’s recent workforce report, women are becoming more and more career-oriented. In fact, the latest compiled statistics show that over 70 percent of mothers are employed. As an added bonus, nearly 30 percent of those working mothers are making more than their husbands. This data is very evident as in Houston, Texas.

But as their incomes grow, this also means that more working mothers who may be divorcing are also facing new challenges, such as fighting for child custody and alimony.

As roles have become somewhat reversed, the rules have also changed somewhat. Mothers who are more involved with their careers are considered by the courts to be better at providing financially for their families and may face a harder time getting custody of their children. Many fathers are starting to devote more time to the care of the children.

According to a recent article, avoiding the courts is the best approach. If the mother can agree to an arrangement with her ex-husband, the outcome may be best for everyone concerned. Often, a judge will decide favorably toward a parent who can devote more time to the child. If a private arrangement can be made, it is cheaper and better for the people involved.

For a mother who is seeking to get primary physical custody, adjusting her schedule and being visible should be her first priority. Parents who are more present and visible in the child’s life are being looked at favorably by the courts. At the same time, teachers, physicians and others who also contribute to caring for the child can serve as witnesses to a working mother’s abilities as a parent.

Finally, a mother who cannot work out her schedule to spend more time with her children should not be too hard on herself. Instead, she should work with her ex-husband and share the parental duties. A joint custody or shared parenting agreement is better than nothing. Also, having a partner who cares for the children allows the working mother to recharge, preventing a possible burnout situation.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Child Custody and the Working Mom,” Lisa Helfend Meyer, June 1, 2013

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