Fatherhood is changing and developing. Many fathers in Florida and across the country are playing a more active role in their children’s lives than in the past. A larger number of stay-at-home and single fathers are taking the lead on child care.Across demographics, fathers say that parenting is extremely important to their identity, according to a 2015 survey. An almost equal percentage of fathers and mothers identify with the importance of parenting. An even higher percentage of fathers than mothers say that parenting is always rewarding.
In comparison to the past, dads are much more involved in caring for their children. Fathers spend about three times as much time on child care as they did in 1965. Even so, many fathers still feel like they don’t have enough time with their children and would like to have more.
Increased sharing of child care responsibilities has come hand in hand with increased sharing of financial responsibilities in the family. Two-thirds of two-parent families are dual-income, with mothers and fathers sharing the breadwinning and child-rearing responsibilities. Indeed, many fathers struggle to balance work and family life. Working fathers can feel rushed and subject to heavy demands at their jobs that keep them away from their families. While fathers take great pride in their jobs and are committed to working, work-life balance concerns can add stress to child rearing.
When families are heading for divorce or separation, the importance of fatherhood can also be reflected in decisions about child custody and shared parenting. A family law attorney can help fathers in this situation to protect their role in the lives of their children.