New York dads must weigh pros and cons of paternity leave

How do modern New York fathers feel about paternity leave? A recent survey indicates that fathers today feel entitled to "a few days" of paternity leave after the birth of their child(ren).

The executive director of Boston College's Center for Work & Family recently released research showing that out of 1,000 white-collar, educated fathers, 99 percent believed that fathers' rights include paid paternity leave.

What about fathers who are their children's primary and sole caregivers such as dads who have sole custody? Fathers in the study were worried about their careers suffering should they take their full, paid, paternity leave.Most of those fathers had partners sharing the child-rearing duties.

Fathers strain to succeed at often high-powered careers to provide financially for their children, yet be there for them physically and emotionally when they are needed. Most fathers don't have the luxury of taking much time off after the birth of a child or even down the line if a crisis occurs within the family. Even when the other parent is available to step in, fathers who take time off from work may be denied career opportunities because of it.

Alternatively, the courts may look unfavorably upon a father who is unable to be present during a child's significant medical or other crisis. Some fathers must travel extensively as part of their job duties. Courts have been known to award custody to mothers simply on the grounds that they are available to care for their children on a daily basis whether or not it is in the best interests of the child for them to have custody..

In custody disputes before the courts, fathers must carefully weigh their abilities as breadwinners against their responsibility to physically and emotionally be there for their children when deciding whether or not to take parental leave from their jobs. Their attorneys can help advise them on the best course of action.

Source: CNBC, "Got paternity leave? Men value it, but are conflicted by it" Allison Linn, Jun. 09, 2014

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