As a single parent in Mississippi, you might feel alone working through all the issues related to child custody. However, once you understand the facts about child custody, you might find that your situation is quite common and that the facts reveal parents are usually able to work out the issues without the interference of the court.
Who takes care of the children?
Primary custody of children is still being awarded primarily to mothers, with mothers becoming the custodial parent in about 80% of custodial cases. However, in some states, like Tennessee, the number of custodial fathers is rising faster than that of custodial mothers. Additionally, the number of single fathers with custody has been increasing as well, and over 2.5 million single fathers have been awarded custodial parent status. Finally, there is an increasing interest in awarding parents equal parenting time with their child, and 40% of the states actively promote this.
Race plays a role
The facts about child custody are also somewhat different depending on race. The differences include:
- Almost 50% of Black children live with one custodial parent while only 29% of Hispanic and 23% of white children live with one custodial parent
- About 63% of custodial fathers are white non-Hispanics while only 18% were Hispanic and 15% were Black
- About 44% of custodial mothers are non-Hispanic women while only 24% are Hispanic and 28% are Black
The children’s preference can matter
There are 13 states where judges do not have to consider an older child’s preference about whom they want to live with primarily. However, 37 states as well as Washington, D.C., do consider where older children wish to live. The age at which the child can be considered mature enough to voice these wishes can vary from state to state. Additionally, these wishes are weighed against the best interests of the child and their age when a judge is deciding.