The changing trends in orders made for children, by Alison Dukes
More and more mothers in the UK are losing sole residence, formerly known as custody, of their children. Remember the case of Britney Spears some time ago. Historically, fathers were often given custody of their children as they were usually in a better position to provide for them financially but over the course of the last century there was a growing expectation that in the vast majority of cases, it was a mother who would be given custody of her children unless she was unfit in some way, for instance as a result of alcohol or drug abuse.
However increasingly Judges are making shared Residence Orders, which split children’s time between both parents, as well as Orders giving custody to the father. For many mothers who lose custody of their children it comes as a considerable shock. They had no idea that pursuing a career would put them at such risk. These are not “unfit” mothers, they are professional woman who may well be the main breadwinner in the family. The father may have worked from home or worked part-time and so spent more time “caring” for the children. This has become more commonplace as opportunities for women in the workplace have increased and as a result, more fathers are involved in the day-to-day care of their children.