Fathers are a critical part of a child’s development

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Studies show that having an active father involved in a child’s life can benefit the child in many ways.

When couples make the choice to file for divorce, it causes the division of families which can be extremely hard for children who are involved in the separation. Children who used to be close to both parents may now be forced to live primarily with one parent and only see the other during a set schedule. While this child custody schedule may be one of the most common, studies show the importance of having both parents involved in a child's life. The benefits of joint-custody are evident, not only in a child's development, but in their emotional and social stability.

Yet, in many cases, fathers who do not have primary custody of their children are not able to spend significant amounts of time with the kids. This is found to have certain effects on a child's development as well.

A measure for success

The Father Involvement Research Alliance evaluated studies which looked at the effect of father involvement on child development. Researchers found that when fathers are actively involved in their infant child's life, the baby is more likely to display confidence in new situations, be emotionally secure and willing to explore their surroundings.

As the child grows, they are more likely to do better in school, earn good grades and obtain successful careers. Children who are bonded to their fathers often have better marriage, are emotionally stable and develop stronger social bonds as they grow older. Girls tend to have a more positive image of men and relationships, while boys are able to develop positive gender roles.

Absence of a father

The absence of a father, on the other hand, can create behavioral issues and problems in school. Children may have trouble making friends and connecting to other people. They may find it hard to explain their feelings and may become attached to their mother. Without a positive male role model, children may miss the essential factors that fathers bring to the family.

What do fathers bring to the table?

Officials from the National Marriage Project report that fathers display characteristics and emotions that differ from those of a mother. Fathers encourage risk, provide safety, discipline and protect their children. They also play differently with children, challenging them to explore new environments while showing them that they are safe and it is okay to make mistakes.

Picking up the pieces

It can be extremely hard to make critical decisions while you are going through a divorce. You may have strong emotions that can alter your decision-making process. Having an advocate by your side throughout the divorce may be helpful. A family attorney in California may be comforting to you and assist you by answering your questions and helping you through this difficult time.