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Survey shows shift in fathers' attitudes over decades

Texas fathers may spend more time with their children and consider parenting more central to their identity than fathers in previous decades, but they are still not spending as much time on child care as mothers. Almost twice as many fathers as mothers say they do not spend enough time with their children. These were among the findings nationwide of a Pew Research Center survey from 2015.

Almost as many fathers as mothers said being a parent was an important part of their identity, but fathers spent only seven hours weekly on child care compared to fifteen for mothers. However, this was almost three times as much time for fathers compared to 1965. In 1970, almost half of all children lived in a household in which the father was the breadwinner while only about a quarter did in 2015.

Just over half of all fathers say they struggle with a balance between work and family compared to 60 percent of mothers. Around 48 percent of fathers and 52 percent of mothers say they wish they could quit their jobs and stay home with their children. Almost 60 percent of adults said they thought one parent should stay home. Just over half said that it did not matter whether that parent was the mother or the father.

In a divorce, if there is a dispute over child custody, a court may award primary custody to the parent who has been the child's main caregiver. However, parents may also want to consider a joint custody agreement. In some cases, this may be beneficial for children because it gives them the opportunity to maintain a significant relationship with both parents. Parents can also create a parenting agreement that addresses a variety of issues that may range from vacation plans to extracurricular activities.

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