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Leave options opening up for U.S. fathers

Many shifts have occurred in recent times in the types of things that are available for fathers here in the United States. One of these involves leave time following the birth of a child.

In the past, large amounts of leave time following a child’s birth was something that was, in a good amount of U.S. workplaces, only available to mothers. However, due to a big 2014 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decision and other factors, there has been a major move towards gender-neutral polices when it comes to baby-related leave. So, an increasing number of U.S. workplaces are now giving fathers the option of taking substantial periods of leave when they have a newborn.

Of course, companies differ widely in what kinds of leave policies they have. Additionally, companies could vary in how free their workers who are fathers feel to use paternity leave options company policy makes available. Also, the U.S. still trails many other countries with high-level economies when it comes to paternity leave. So, there are still plenty of U.S. fathers who might not have much in the way of paternity leave options. However, the trend definitely seems to be towards such options opening up.

This shift underscores a general trend that has been occurring here in America in recent decades. This is a trend of fathers having access to more and more rights and options that were historically viewed as being primarily for mothers. This trend has had impacts in many fields. This includes child custody.

There was a time when it was largely assumed that, when parents divorced, custody would more or less automatically be granted to the mother. However, laws and practices throughout the United States have since moved in a direction of putting fathers’ on more equal footing when it comes to child custody issues. Experienced Louisiana family law attorneys can help fathers who are going through a divorce understand what their rights are under state child custody laws and fight to preserve their rights regarding their kids.

Source: Reuters, “As baby leaves go gender-neutral, dads get time off,” Beth Pinsker, Sept. 14, 2016

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