A recent commentary noted that while there have been many studies conducted about the impact of divorce on mothers and children, there seem to be few studies in existence about how divorce affects fathers. When studies do involve fathers, it is likely that the study is about the child, rather than the father.
Fathers in Colorado suffer the emotional pain of divorce as much as mothers. A 2003 study concluded that divorced men are at greater risk of committing suicide compared with single men or divorced women. Divorced men are also more likely to consume alcohol compared with divorced women. On top of that, divorce often strains fathers’ relationships with their children. This is no doubt in part because many divorced fathers have limited contact with their children after divorce.
An analysis of studies devoted to fathers after divorce between 1990 and 2010 suggests that divorced fathers felt less depressed and had higher self-esteem when they spent more time with their children or had sole custody of their children. The analysis also revealed that divorced fathers are more upset with the family law system than with their ex-wives. The researcher who conducted the study stated that many divorced fathers are not empowered to fight for the custody of their children for fear that they will lose the custody battle.
It doesn’t need to be this way. Colorado family law is gender-neutral, and if a father is more fit to be the custodial parent than the mother, he should be awarded primary custody. But it often takes an experienced family law attorney who is familiar with fathers’ rights to argue this effectively to the court.
Source: Huffington Post, “Why Is No One Paying Attention To Divorced Dads?,” Vicki Larson, June 13, 2013