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This lack of experience can make single dads begin to doubt whether they are really cut out for this, after all.“Before I had Kyle, my only experience with kids was as a youth football coach,” said Malliet.

Dating as a single father is a tricky proposition, but let me simplify it for you: Make your children your main priority and the rest is simple. A girl leaves a shirt at your house you better believe your daughter is going to notice and ask questions.

They don’t ask for more parenting time because they don’t think it’s the norm,” Professor Fabricius said.

Since only five percent of child custody cases ever make it to trial, these perceptions of the norm are important.

It favored joint legal custody (the parents both have a say in decisions made about the child), but not joint physical custody.

The decision about physical custody was made “in the best interest of the child,” which generally meant that the child lived with one parent or the other (and most often with the mother).

A Pew Research study published this statistic this summer: 8 percent of households with minor children are now headed by a single father, up from just one percent in 1960.

If fathers are empowered to ask for more parenting time than they’ve had in the past, mothers may be more likely to give up their part of the custody.

With the courts putting more faith in single fathers, Malliet thinks the next big hurdle will be those fathers having faith in themselves.

According to the Pew study, we can attribute a large part of this to the U. judicial system, and its shifting standards for child custody cases. But since the early 2000’s, many states have been adopting legislation that moves away from the “best interest” policy.

Most new legislation provides for “joint parenting” or joint physical custody, policies that encourage both parents to spend equal time with the child (Oregon, Minnesota, Arizona, Iowa, and Maine have particularly strong joint parenting laws).

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