Divorce Custody Statistics

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Though marriage is a bond that is formed by two people with love and commitment, it can become disturbing because of disputes in between the couple. Sometimes, these differences of opinions result into the termination of such union. In legal terms, it is called as ' divorce'. A dissolution of marriage brings about various issues like alimony, child support, property division. If the couple has children from this marriage, the responsibility of kids becomes a prominent matter of discussion between parents. Most of the divorcing couples face this problem. The statistics will be helpful to provide more information in this regard.

Generally, all parents who are opting for permanent separation, apply for a court case to obtain guardianship of their children. Some of them may solve it out of the legal procedure, by making mutual agreement. Remaining spouses go for a contested process. An approximate data in this matter is as follows:

  • 4 percent of the parents seeking legal rights begin a trial. Out of these, only 1.5 percent complete the trial.
  • 5 percent of the parents underwent a third-party evaluation and through this resolved their differences.
  • 11 percent of the parents experienced a mediation and took decisions during it.
  • 29 percent parents settled this issue without any involvement of a third party.
  • 51 percent parents resolved this issue through mutual discussions, i.e., on their own.

Highlights of Divorce Custody Statistics

Desire of parents regarding parenting plan

The guardianship of the child is awarded keeping in mind the child's best interests. But in this process, parents can express their wishes in front of the judge. Usually, people apply for a joint plan or sole guardianship on the basis of their desires. Following is the statistical analysis of the same.

Custody arrangementDesirous fathersDesirous mothers
Joint possession 35 percent 15 percent
Sole possession to father 33 percent 3 percent
Sole possession to mother 29 percent 82 percent
Other plans 3 percent 0 percent

Outcome of court cases

The actual result of these cases can be stated as below

Custody arrangementParents attend trial or undergo evaluationParents undergo mediation
Joint possession 40 percent 25 percent
Sole possession to father 11 percent 11 percent
Sole possession to mother 44 percent 63 percent
Other plans 5 percent 6 percent

There are some other relevant facts about guardianship and type of parenting plans that are prevalent. Following are some points related to it:

  • In the mid 1990s, the following figures were obtained:
    • 1.3 million fathers were bringing up their child in the absence of the mother.
    • 7.6 million mothers were raising their children in the absence of the father.
  • When the parents first separate, then in 67 percent of the cases, the children initially reside with their mother in the marital residence.
  • In the year 1970, 2.8 million single mothers had the responsibility of the child. This number increased 3 times till 1994.
  • From 1970 to 1994, the number of fathers who were allocated sole rights of the child were increased 4 times.
  • About 40 percent of the non custodial fathers do not have visitation or access to the child.
  • The present situation is such that in about 75 percent of the cases, the mother is granted responsibility and in 10 percent of the cases, the father is given the responsibility of the child. The remaining 15 percent cases comprise of some type of joint plan and arrangements.

Divorce Custody Statistics and Child Support

Child support is a monitory obligation on the parents. Generally, a non-custodial spouse will pay monitory help to meet the requirements of a child. The general statistics in 1991 about child support is as follows:

  • 26.9 percent non custodial fathers defaulted on child support.
  • 46.9 percent non custodial mothers defaulted on support.
  • 29.9 percent custodial fathers were awarded child support.
  • 79.6 percent custodial mothers were granted support.
  • In 1992, the statistics of non custodial fathers who did not disburse child support was considered, then 66 percent of them were unable to pay.
  • In 1991, the number of total custodial fathers was 2.907 million and that of the custodial mothers was 11.268 million.

Pertinent divorce statistics of child custody

Once the court order for parenting plan is issued, it is changed only in rare circumstances. Some people may find the existing plan beneficial for them, while some may find it bad for the family. General opinions of people over it are:

  • In 1984, 70 percent of the fathers developed an opinion that they were awarded too little time with their child.
  • In 1994, just 11 percent of the mothers considered that their husband's input had some value for dealing with the child's problems.
  • About half of the mothers did not think that the father's continued contact with the child had any significance

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