A Shout-out to Fathers

David Adam LaRoche is a professional baseball player. He is married and the father to a daughter, Montana, and a son named Drake. He has been playing baseball professionally for 15 years, most recently as a first baseman with the Chicago White Sox.

On or about March 15, 2016, LaRoche stepped down from his position and retired. Apparently, he walked away from a $13-million playing contract to be with his family. One reason for his decision was based on the White Sox’s management banning Drake’s daily appearance in the team’s clubhouse.

LaRoche is part of a new trend of millennial fathers putting their families before their careers. According to nbcnews.com, more men are sacrificing their careers to benefit their family lives. These men have increased the amount of time they spend with their children by over 50 percent since 1977. More than fifty percent of millennial fathers place their family above their careers all or nearly all the time. Further, about two-thirds of them said they changed jobs or said they would consider doing so to better manage work and family. They also said they would be willing to take a pay cut, or give up a promotion, or relocate to benefit their family. (Conversely, only 57 percent of millennial women were willing to do so.)

California has always been a leader in recognizing the importance of fathers in the care of their children. It is also a leader in recognizing that fathers are just as capable of mothers as being caregivers for those children.

California law states that merely the gender of either parent will not determine custody of a child. California believes it is in a child’s best interest to have continuing contact with both parents (barring possible harm to the child). Therefore, first choice of custody will be joint physical and legal custody of a child to both parents. To obtain sole custody (joint and/or legal), a parent would have to show possible harm to the child or other specific circumstances preventing joint custody, such as unavailability of the other parent.

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