The image of the "man cave" is popular in the media today. Some
Georgia men may have a basement or other room of the house, or perhaps
a garage, where they can isolate themselves to engage in hobbies, watch
television or work on projects. Yet the notion of the solitary modern
man in his "cave" may actually stem in part from decades-long
trends in divorce and child custodydeterminations.
Recent Census data has found an increase in single male households since
1970 of over 10 percent. Today more than a third of men aged 15-64 live
alone. A report suggests that the rising divorce rate since the 1970s
could have affected that statistic, although interestingly, there has
not been a corresponding rise in the rate of single female households.
The report further speculates that the likelihood of mothers retaining
full custody of the children after a divorce could account for this disproportionality.
Of course, every family situation is different and will have unique factors
influencing a custody arrangement after a divorce. Courts will typically
want to examine what a child's living conditions will be like in one
home or the other, how much time a parent will have to devote to the child's
care, and any factors like drugs or abuse that could threaten the stability
or safety of the child in the home. Divorcing parents concerned that a
judge may award full custody to the other partner may also wish to consider
working together towards an out-of-court child custody agreement.
It is important for Georgia parents considering a divorce to know their
legal rights, and not expect that certain trends or stereotypes regarding
"who gets the kids" will prevail in their situation. Fathers
have legal rights to their children, and mothers who want full custody
should not expect that a court will rule in their favor without some scrutiny.
In either case, a legal professional can help divorcing parents understand
their legal options and advocate for a custody or visitation arrangement
that takes these into consideration - as well, of course, as the best
interests of the child.