Behavior: Who Gets the Children?

Until recently, if the father got custody of the children in a divorce case, most onlookers concluded that the mother had done something pretty dreadful. No longer. Divorce lawyers and family experts around the country are reporting a new byproduct of Women's Lib: the growing tendency of courts to give custody to fathers.

Though many state laws make sex irrelevant in determining custody, judges have traditionally taken the view that only mothers can give youngsters the attention they need. The theory has been that mothers are inherently better fit to provide care and are...

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