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Equal parenting time better for fathers and children

Historically, many people have believed that mothers can do a better job than fathers when it comes to raising children -- and that they should have more time in which to do that job. Today's fathers, though, may want to exercise their rights to care more directly for their children and to get child custody issues resolved so that they have equal time with their children.

Unfortunately, some courts still favor mothers in divorce settlements, assuming that doing so will mean less complicated, less stressful and otherwise better outcomes for a child. Some courts also assume that mom's home is necessarily the child's home.

As reported by Livestrong.com, over the years 70 percent of mothers have been granted primary custody in divorce. Only 20 percent of fathers ever get joint custody and just 10 percent have been granted primary custody of their children. Fathers are more likely to be granted just visitation rights and schedules -- and to have their children feel that time with them is time away from home.

It turns out, though, that the role of fathers in children's lives can be just as important as a mother's, but in different ways, if they have the chance to spend equal time with their children. When established by a court during a divorce settlement, equal parenting can help nurture a child's connection with both parents. Mothers who have to work may find that it allows them more time to meet their own needs.

During the settlement of the child custody issue during divorce, envisioning the importance of fatherhood can be significant for everyone involved. Overcoming the negative ideas that some people hold about the role of divorced fathers may be difficult, but allowing fathers a larger role in parenting is essential for the child's progress.

Source: NJ.com, "Keeping dads equal to moms after divorce," Prin Dumas, Feb. 7, 2013

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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