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Men see being a father as a major part of their identity

There are some old stereotypes about child custody that make people think children should live with their mother and not their father. The implication is that fathers cannot raise their children or don't care to try.

This has been changing over the years, but a quick look back shows just how entrenched this belief was, as some experts said there was a legal presumption that mothers should get custody. While they were presenting arguments against it even then, the stereotype itself is not a myth and still impacts some cases to this day.

The reason that this is a problem is that fathers actually do care about being fathers. They see it as a major part of their identity. For instance, when asked if being a parent was extremely important and defined who they were, 58 percent of mothers in 2015 said that it was. For fathers, the rate was 57 percent. That's virtually the same.

This is not to downplay the role that mothers have by any stretch of the imagination. They love their children and work hard to raise them. But it does help to show why equality and fairness are so important in child custody cases. Stereotypes, especially as outdated as those based only on gender, should not define child custody rights. Instead, the courts must consider what is really in the children's best interests and how the custody plan can address that.

If you are worried about losing custody of your children for any reason, regardless of your gender, make sure you know what legal options you have and how you can fight for your rights and preserve those important relationships.

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