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Fathers play larger role in children's lives than in the past

Some Michigan fathers may be among the 57 percent who say they consider parenting as central to their identity according to a survey by Pew Research Center. This is about the same percentage as mothers who responded. Fathers are also more involved in child care compared to previous decades. Fathers in 2015 said they spent seven hours weekly on child care, and this was almost three times the number of hours reported in 1965. However, mothers still report considerably more at 15 hours per week. Nearly half of fathers say they do not spend enough time with their children.

Fathers are less likely to be the sole breadwinner than in the past. In 1970, almost half of children lived in households where only the father worked outside the home. That has dropped to only about a quarter of children. Around half of fathers say they struggle to balance work and family compared to 60 percent of mothers.

There is still a perception that mothers are better at caring for children than fathers. More than half say they agree with this while only 1 percent say the opposite. However, 45 percent of people say both parents are equally good at it. Around 70 percent think bonding with a child is as important for the father as the mother.

Some parents may feel these pressures even more when they are going through a divorce and could be concerned that they will not be able to spend as much time with their children as they have been accustomed to. Parents who are in this situation may want to talk to Oakland County child custody lawyers. Parents might be able to work out an agreement in which they share physical custody or the parent with visitation rights has a substantial amount of time with the child.

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