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Are Divorced Fathers Healthy For Their Children?


What is the most effective living situation for children who are split between parents? This article shows that a child who lives with both of his or her separated parents will be better off emotionally and mentally. Richard Warshak, a prominent American clinical and research psychiatrist and author, writes that research has historically shown that, “children and their fathers usually (though not always) wanted and needed more time together than they were getting (in a situation of divorce).” Warshak writes that research shows children whose parents take joint responsibility in caring for their kids are better off.

Children who spend at least 35 percent of their time with each parent, rather than living with only one of them and visiting the other, have fuller relationships with both parents and have better grades, are less susceptible to self-destructive impulses, and are psychologically healthier.

If This Is True, Than Why Has Society Not Taken to the Idea?

The benefits are clear, and yet there are many who still criticize a shared custody approach. Critics claim that the advantages must be tied to factors other than joint custody, such as income or marital conflict. However, there is research that strongly suggests that money and marital conflict are variables that do not interfere with the benefits of children who spend time with both of their parents. Linda Nielsen, the researcher behind this study, would claim that to improve the outcomes of children of divorced parents, the parents must maximize the time spent with their children.

At this point in time, most family counselors would admit the importance of children being connected with both of their parents. However, when infants and toddlers are the topic of discussion, counselors may still tend to give the mother the benefit of the doubt. There is a lingering (and inaccurate) belief that toddlers and infants who spend even a night away from their mothers will be worse for it. This stigma leads to fathers’ houses becoming “prohibited” places, despite the fact that these kids sleep while at daycare or at other family members’ houses.

This kind of thinking stands in opposition to research that suggests that toddlers and infants are affected more by fathers in their abilities to develop language skills and to persist in challenging obstacles. Warshak writes that, “Fathers give their infants the ‘can do’ attitude that is essential to success.”

The Conclusions & What They Mean for Child Custody Cases

Warshak concludes with two salient points. The first, that shared parenting should be the norm for children of divorced parents, regardless of the child’s age. The second, that children who only see their fathers during daytime hours will have an abnormal child-rearing-relationship with their fathers. Shared parenting should be the rule for divorced parents, not the exception.

We at Gille Kaye Law Group, PC believe strongly in our clients’ abilities to raise their children. Regardless of their gender, we fight tirelessly to give our clients the rights that they deserve from the court of law. Fathers’ rights have been historically forfeited based solely on beliefs that are not founded on research, and we as a law firm trust the facts found in these articles. That is why we fight hard for fathers and mothers alike, because when it comes to children, both parents are the pathway to developing a healthy child.

If you are sick of being profiled by your representation in your family law case or want justice despite your gender, call (626) 340-0955 to schedule your case evaluation today!

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