How the Dads Got Primary Custody of Their Children
(Excluding Mat, Robert, and Dadsona, whose situations are all canonically death of the spouse)
While Craig and Ashley started (and still work on) their business as a team Ashley was always more single-minded about it, and involved in all the most time-consuming aspects. When they finally accepted that their marriage was over they sat down, had a long, longtalk, and reached the conclusion that Craig was in a better position to take care of the girls full time. However, their relationship post-divorce is very amicable, and Ashley still regularly makes time to see her kids.
Brian’s S/O was an ambitious workaholic. It never bothered Brian until Daisy grew past infancy and they started constantly pushing her to do more, do better, aim higher. The last thing Brian wanted was for his daughter to grow up in a broken home, but when he realised how much it was impacting Daisy’s self esteem (and how much of her childhood she was missing out on) he decided enough was enough. He left, and won full custody of Daisy without much of a fight. He doesn’t know how to repair the damage his ex did, but he’s determined that his beloved daughter is never going to have to live without the praise she deserves ever again.
Hugo’s ex is a free-spirit artsy type. For a long time they had a great relationship, but as they got older (especially after Ernest came along) their individual goals started to diverge, and it became clear that the lives they’d both come to want where just too incompatible. When it came to the custody battle Hugo was the one with the stable career and the good income, so he was the one granted primary custody. Ernest’s other dad gets him on weekends and some holidays, and Hugo has resigned himself to his role as the unfavoured parent.
Damien became pregnant relatively early in his relationship with his S/O, before they’d had the chance to properly discuss the idea of children. S/O couldn’t handle the idea and bolted, leaving Damien alone. Damien briefly considered an abortion – he wasn’t confident of his ability to raise a child by himself, and keeping it would cost him the money he’d put aside for his transition and set him back several years. However, he’d also always wanted to be a dad, and who knew when the chance would come along again? He decided to raise his kid on his own, and found that the gap his S/O had left in his life vanished the moment Lucien was born.
When Joseph and Mary finally decide that they’re doing more harm than good, the custody battle is over almost as soon as it’s begun – Joseph is an upstanding and important member of his community, Mary is an alcoholic and provably neglectful of her children. To her surprise, Robert comes to Mary’s aid not as a drinking buddy or sympathetic ear, but as the tough love no one else will give her. He has, as he points out, been estranged from his child himself, and as much as he loves Mary he’s not going to tell her she’s a fit mother when she isn’t. Eventually Mary resolves to clean up her act, both for herself and in the hope of one day being allowed more than occasional supervised visitation rights. Joseph, for his part, works hard to give his children a loving home, and regularly sends Mary updates on how they’re all getting on.