Unfortunately, in the UK, over 50% of relationships eventually break down. When that happens most children, find themselves having to live either with mum or dad.
As things stand that means they end up living with their mother rather than their father. This is the way it has been for decades it is almost automatic for mothers to be awarded custody of their children.
However, things are changing. More fathers are asking for custody of their children and some are winning their cases. For decades, it has been possible to get full custody, but few fathers realized this or felt that they could afford the cost of a long court battle.
Yet despite this, over the years, more than 70,000 fathers have won full custody. However, the vast majority of judges are still ruling in favor of the mother.
Of the 40,000 cases heard in family court in 71% of cases, the mother is awarded full custody. Only 7% of the cases resulted in the father being awarded full custody.
In the remaining 21% of cases, the judge awards joint custody to the parents. However, as more and more fathers ask for custody things are changing.
Fortunately, more parents are agreeing on joint custody without going to court. Most legal advisors try to get people to come to an agreement without going to court. They recommend mediation, and in most cases, this works, but couples are still ending up in family court because of custody disputes.
In those situations, it is extremely important for both parents to have the best possible legal support. A great deal hangs in the balance.