Studies have shown that children benefit from having a relationship with both parents after divorce or when unmarried parents split up. Despite the benefits, many divorced dads find themselves having a difficult time maintaining their relationship with their children for several reasons.
After divorce, some fathers find it difficult to spend quality time with their children due to child custody and visitation arrangements. Unfortunately, some fathers end up not even seeing their children after divorce because their ex-spouse won't let them visit.
In most cases, it is in the best interests of the children for them to spend quality time with both parents, including their dads. A recent report found that a child's relationship with their dad is model for future relationships with other men in their lives. Boys see their fathers as a role model and someone to look up to. Girls view their father as a model for what qualities they should look for in their own boyfriends and husbands in the future. The benefits of children having a relationship with their father can impact the rest of their lives.
Divorced or unmarried fathers can maintain a good relationship with their children by considering and adhering to the following advice:
- Stay in town or close to the children so they can physically see you.
- Maintain regular, predictable contact with your children so they know they can depend and trust you.
- Be emotional with your children and express to them how you feel about them being in your life.
- Make an effort to watch them grow up by attending activities and supporting them.
- Appreciate the time you spend with your children and become a reliable presence in their lives.
Children see many benefits from having a relationship with their father so it is important for fathers to understand their rights and to fight for them if necessary. Fathers who are being denied access to their children or would like to spend more time with their children than they currently are should consult a family law attorney. Fathers' rights cases can be difficult and emotional at times but an attorney can help fathers understand their rights and protect their relationship with their children.
Source: Huffington Post, "Divorced, But Fathering Well," Marie Hartwell-Walker, Jan. 4, 2013
Our law firm helps parents during divorce and can help fathers understand their rights. To learn more about our law firm, please visit our fathers' rights page.