As a parent raising children in North Carolina and in the U.S. in general, you may have noticed how family dynamics have changed significantly throughout the years. While women were once the primary caretakers and ran the household, men were often the breadwinners and maintained a career in order to make ends meet. Times have changed, however, and now a number of moms are primary earners and dads are more likely to stay at home and take care of the children. In fact, a study conducted by the Pew Research Center discovered that mothers are the primary earner in 40 percent of U.S households, including those that are headed by single moms.
When filing for divorce, the judge presiding over the case will look at these dynamics, including who spent more time with the children on a daily basis. When determining child custody in a divorce case, the judge may ask you who spends more time with the children. Who takes the kids to their doctors’ appointments, schedules playdates, volunteers at school and attends parent-teacher conferences? In most cases, it is in the best interest of the children to ensure they have time with both parents, as each parent plays a very important role in the child’s life. Yet, the judge often wants to maintain the same type of lifestyle that the children were used to. If that daily lifestyle involves the father as the primary caretaker, he may receive primary custody of the child and the mother may be ordered to pay child support.