What Does the Latest Research On the Effects of Divorce On Men with Joint Custody Indicate?
New research now suggests that divorce can turn a number of men into better caregivers and fathers. Researchers hypothesize that this is because becoming a single parent forces a number of men to step forward to take responsibility as opposed to delegating these tasks to their partners or waiting to be told what to do.
This research is groundbreaking, as it suggests that divorce is now providing fathers with an opportunity to become better parents and drive change when it comes to custodial norms. It also suggests that, as divorced parents take a more knowledgeable and enlightened approach to co-parenting, they are pursuing parenting with more focus; no longer weighed down by marital conflict. For some, this phenomenon is also likely linked to becoming happier individuals, as divorce often makes people happier in the long run.
“Executive Parenting Tasks”
Researchers are calling refer to this phenomenon as fathers taking on what they refer to as executive parenting tasks; this includes meal and activity planning and other nurturing activities, such as comforting babies, singing lullabies, reading bedtime stories, and more. By getting in more practice doing these things, they are essentially becoming more adept caretakers, and as a result, they are growing in confidence and ability when it comes to making important child-rearing decisions; well able to meet their children’s needs.
Divorce Is Not The Problem—Marital Conflict Is
Now, a number of scientists are also arguing that the detrimental effects of divorce have long been overstated historically and, in reality, the differences between children who come from divorce versus married parents are quite slight. In fact, according to these researchers, marital conflict is the issue, and in those cases, divorce actually provides the solution. In other words, divorce does not have an especially negative effect on children if they have equal or close to equal time with their fathers – regular overnights, 50-50 time splits when possible, etc. – regardless of age. The research suggests that these children end up with higher self-esteem, do better academically, and are, in general, less likely to become vulnerable to issues as they get older. In other words, children of divorce who are able to spend a good amount of time with their dads can turn out just as well-adjusted as those whose parents are not divorced.
Bring This Research Into The Courts
This research is incredibly important, especially when it comes to the sentiment that everyone brings into the courtroom. While custody laws and assumptions concerning male and female caregivers are changing state by state, even in states that are moving more towards 50-50 splits are sometimes not providing capable fathers with a fair break when it comes to being provided with equal time; suggesting that a number of fathers are still unfairly treated in the courts, where there are not taken seriously as caretakers.
In fact, divorce not only provides fathers with the opportunity to parent their children more, but it can make both moms and dads better parents because they have more downtime to recharge due to shared parenting circumstances. In the same way that we as a society are trying to move away from the assumption that boys are biologically predisposed to outperforming girls when it comes to certain academic subjects, such as math and science, we must move away from similar messages about men being second rate parents. In fact, decades of research show that most kids wish that they had more time with their dad growing up.
Contact Our Florida Divorce Attorneys to Find Out More
If you live in Florida and have questions about divorce and/or custody/time sharing, contact our experienced Orlando divorce attorneys at Arwani Law Firm, PLLC today to find out how we can help.