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dads, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyWhile fathers have always played an important role in the upbringing and development of children, they have not always been treated as such by the courts. This was often due to the assignment of traditional gender roles. Further, it was originally thought that the mother was more critical in the child’s early years. Yet, as time passed, fathers began to gain some important recognition in the lives of their children. The composition of families also started to change. Now there are fathers who stay home with their children and mothers who work outside of the home. Does this necessarily affect the allocation of parental responsibilities or assignment of parenting time in divorce though? It is possible but not guaranteed.

How Child-Related Matters Are Determined

In Illinois, divorcing parents are permitted to negotiate an agreement regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time details of their case. Generally, this offers numerous benefits for families, including the freedom to create a parenting plan that is more tailored to their family’s specific needs. For example, if the couple feels the child and family would benefit most from the father receiving a greater allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time because he works from home, they could create and agree upon a parenting plan that reflects this decision.

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stay-at-home dad, parenting, Illinois family law attorneyAccording to Professor Karen Kramer of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in the 1970’s, less than ten American men identified as stay-at-home dads. Not less than ten percent. Less than ten men. In fact, according to Kramer’s research, the number may have been closer to six. In 2014, the number of stay-at-home dads was estimated to be around 1.9 million, not only a staggering difference from 40 years ago, but as much as 16 percent of all stay-at-home parents in the country. There are, of course, a number of factors that contribute to the evolution of stay-at-home parenting for men, including unemployment and disability, but many simply have the choice to be home with the children and seize the opportunity.

Defining a SAHD

The U.S. Census Bureau is normally responsible for gathering demographic information on stay-at-home caregivers, including stay-at-home moms, or SAHMs, and stay-at-home dads, or SAHDs. However, the Census Bureau does not include dads in same-sex relationships, single dads, or dads of children older than 15 as eligible for consideration as SAHD. The Pew Research Center, on the other hand, reviewed the census data while looking differently at the information. When considering any father at home with children 18 or younger in the same household, Pew found that nearly 2 million men are now stay-at-home dads, down slightly from the all-time high of 2.2 million men in 2010, at the end of the last recession.

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