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Custody woes for working mothers

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Child maintenance figures from the Child Support Agency for Manchester and across the U.K. show that almost 67,000 mothers are recorded as being the non-resident parent after a separation, a number that has been on the increase. Traditionally, when a relationship has broken down, mothers have gained custody of the children while their husbands have been the non-resident parent. But this situation may be coming to an end as more women are pursuing successful careers in the workplace and taking on the role of the primary wage earner.

In child custody disputes, the court will make its decision based on what it deems is best for the child. This has often meant that the main caregiver has been granted custody, and now, with increasing numbers of husbands staying home to look after the children while their wives provide the household income, this has led to an increase in cases where the stay-at-home husbands have won custody.

While this may be a side effect of the success of women's rights in the workplace, observers point out that society still expects the mother to win custody of her children. It means that people look at a mother who loses a custody battle as someone who is an unfit parent or who has put her career ahead of her family.

A solicitor who is familiar with the factors that result in a child custody order may be able to offer strategies that will help clients attain their goals. Giving up a career or switching to part-time working in order to have more time to spend with the children may not be a practical option for everyone, but in some situations, this may have an impact on the decision made by the judge.