to wonder why men are almost always the non-resident parent

(508 Posts)

Yes, I know I could win an award for most clueless person, but please humour me.

Why is it that when parents separate, it's almost always the mother that the children live with and who has to do the bulk of the mundane parts of the childcare? While daddy gets to pay a cash sum each week, pursue his own interests most of the time and then be Disney the rest of the time.

Doesn't sound like a good deal to me.

YouLoveItDoreen Sun 15-Dec-13 20:01:43

I had this very discussion with my partner yesterday, I know of couples that have separated and the children have gone to live with their fathers, but it is usually when MH issues are present in the mother. Is it because it is what we expect? Or because usually the man has another woman already?

It's not a good deal for anyone. But the pattern before the break-up is generally continued after the break-up. Men who want 50% custody need to do 50% before the split.

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 15-Dec-13 20:03:37

Because whether we like it or not, courts still favour the woman over the man in residency orders.

HermioneWeasley Sun 15-Dec-13 20:03:53

I guess in many families the father works FT and the mother PT so for practical reasons the kids would have to stay with their mum?

leobear Sun 15-Dec-13 20:04:30

It sounds like a bad deal both ways! I can't think of anything worse than being parted from my children. I'm a woman, so does that mean men don't feel the same way, but rather "get to be Disney"??

Men who want 50% custody need to do 50% before the split.

Really? What if the women is fine with 50% custody, or actually, what if the woman is fine to be non-resident parent?

pricklyPea Sun 15-Dec-13 20:05:29

What doesn't sound like a good deal? If you mean being the resident parent then yabu.

I know men who would kill to be the resident parent instead of playing 'Disney dad'.

I think it's probably because as women we are expected to be the nurturing sex and in most cases it's the woman who's done the majority of the child rearing prior to separation.

WelshMaenad Sun 15-Dec-13 20:05:48

If DH and I ever separated he would fight me like a dog to get at least 50/50 if not residency of our kids.

Have all couples been to court though? I bet there's a lot more couples where is an agreed arrangement rather than a court ordered one so nothing to do with court bias there.

I think it's because in the majority before the split the woman does most of the childcare stuff so it naturally continues afterwards. A man who doesn't care before the split isn't going to afterwards either.

lilyaldrin Sun 15-Dec-13 20:06:16

Because mostly mothers do the greater share of childcare before a split, so the status quo is maintained.

And also, many men wouldn't want to be the resident parent.

WooWooOwl Sun 15-Dec-13 20:06:21

The answer to that is simple biology. The men don't carry and deliver the babies, and unlike women, they don't get to choose whether an embryo they helped create gets to turn into a baby and be born.

Unfortunately they are also often the higher earners, so they generally don't start being the primary carer as soon as the partner who gave birth is recovered from it.

I guess in many families the father works FT and the mother PT so for practical reasons the kids would have to stay with their mum?

Totally. But what if the woman actually wants a career?

If I split with DH, I'm not sure I'd want to be the resident parent.

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 15-Dec-13 20:07:47

Men who want 50% custody need to do 50% before the split. and the woman will have earnt 50% of the household income before the split?

rainbowfeet Sun 15-Dec-13 20:07:49

& some of them think they are so hard done by because they are paying financially or have to drive a distance to collect the children etc... Well with the cost of food & clothes, school shoes every few weeks, mobile phone top ups or constant iTunes downloads the maintainance of CSA goes nowhere!!!
Money aside the responibility that the non res parent is so intense & at times overwhelming!!
I know other people will disagree but for me the non res parent in my life has it easy ! hmm

nulgirl Sun 15-Dec-13 20:08:14

My db is the resident parent even though he works full time and my dn's mother hasn't done a days work in her life. This is because the mother decided that having a child cramped her style. I would agree that it is probably quite unusual.

WooWooOwl I don't see how biology and finances mean that the woman has to be the resident parent - what about her desires for career, lifestyle, etc?

Showy Sun 15-Dec-13 20:11:35

It's often a continuation of what happened previously. In a country where historically a woman got maternity leave/benefits/rights and a father had 2 weeks off, you had the mother putting her career on hold to be the primary caregiver. And with the way earning potential once favoured the male, you had the female partner staying at home. Perhaps breastfeeding too.

I know if DH and I split up (God forbid), you'd have to take into consideration the fact that I have been a SAHM for 6.5 years, DH works very long hours and I do the vast majority of child related things. Keeping things 'normal' for the children would involve them staying in our family home with their primary caregiver. I am sure this would be the best thing for them as a starting point. Certainly, DH couldn't manage 50/50 care with the job he has.

I know plenty of families who do 50/50 care following a split and I wonder if the shared parental leave thing will make a difference too.

My brother has as much access to his DC as he can manage, obviously pays maintenance (far more than CSA would demand) and him and his ex wife are amicable about the whole thing. He is in no way a Disney Dad. He works very, very long hours and misses his dc every second of every day. Their marriage failed and because of his job, he can't do 50/50 care. This doesn't tell you anything about his commitment to those dc.

No one makes the woman be the resident parent, do they? She could also leave instead of the man and hope he picks up the pieces.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 20:14:21

Most men are too selfish to raise their children properly. My ex partner certainly is and I don't even receive child support.

and before anybody objects to this, how many times on MN do you read posts by women going through hell because their lazy partners don't even put the vacuum round or take the kids to the park?

Men tend to put themselves first.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 20:14:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MamaBear17 Sun 15-Dec-13 20:14:34

I can only speak from personal experience, but I think my dh would fight me for at least 50/50. I couldn't imagine living apart from my dd for half the week. It would be hell. I think my husband would feel the same. I feel sorry for any parent who is non-resident without their choosing.

Imsosorryalan Sun 15-Dec-13 20:14:43

Friends of ours do 50/50 so their two kids go to one sun - wed then to the other wed- sun then alternate the week after. Initially I thought the kids were being passed from pillar to post but it works for them and now I think it sounds like a good idea. My dh would almost def want this.
I wonder why most courts don't favour this?

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 20:15:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

and before anybody objects to this, how many times on MN do you read posts by women going through hell because their lazy partners don't even put the vacuum round or take the kids to the park?

Or it means women are more likely to come on MN and post about it than men are?

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