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Survey results shows more involved fathers

Georgia fathers may be spending more time with their children than in past decades based on a survey by Pew Research Center. The survey found that fathers spent an average of seven hours on child care weekly in 2015. This is almost three times higher than in 1965, but it is still less than half the average amount of time that mothers spend on the same task.

However, at 57 percent, nearly as many fathers as mothers consider parenting core to their identity. A majority also say they always find parenting rewarding. There is still a perception that mothers are better at parenting than fathers although 45 percent of people surveyed said mothers and fathers were both equally good. About 70 percent of people said it is important for babies to bond with both parents although around a quarter said bonding with the mother was more important.

A smaller percentage of families have fathers as the sole breadwinners than in the past, and fathers also report struggling with work/family balance. Only around a quarter of minor children live in households in which only the father works compared to almost half in 1970. About half of both working fathers and mothers say both that they would prefer staying home with their children but that they need to continue working.

With both parents this deeply attached to their identity as parents and to their children, in a divorce, child custody battles may become contentious and emotional. However, parents may want to keep in mind the court's principle of using the best interests of the child as its benchmark when making its decision.

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