Fathers' rights advocates in Colorado often stress the effect of a fathers' involvement with a child's development and behavior. This issue is then used by supporters to fight for joint custody or shared parenting in the event of a divorce or separation. To further investigate this claim, a study was conducted for children of unmarried parents whose fathers lived separately from them.
According to a Rutgers University study, children of fathers who paid child support through a court order exhibited more aggressive behavior than children who received no formal support. The study analyzed data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study regarding almost 5,000 children who were conceived by unmarried parents between 1998 and 2000. The lead researcher also pointed out that five-year-old children showed improvement with their cognitive skills when their dads provided child support without a legal contract. Previous studies focused on children with divorced parents. However, when the National Center for Health Statistics announced that almost 40 percent of children were born to parents who are not married, the researchers wanted to find out how financial support affects children in single parent families.
The study also indicated that an informal agreement between the child's parents seemed more beneficial than having a legally binding order. The study found that children who receive informal support and emotional support from their fathers have better vocabulary skills, and are good academically. Many of these fathers are low-income fathers who occasionally failed to provide financial support for their children but made up for it by visiting and spending time with them.
Father's rights in Colorado are not all about providing financial support for a child. They are also about becoming a real father to the child in ways that will help their emotional well-being.
Source: News.rutgers.edu, "Rutgers Study: Young Children of Unmarried Parents Fare Worse when a Father's Support is Court-Ordered", Accessed on Dec. 10, 2014