There’s new research proving beyond doubt that children of divorce – regardless of their age – benefit greatly from overnight stays with both parents. We’ll discuss the study in this issue.
Why Is The Study Important?
The study, which was carried out by researchers at Arizona State University, was eventually published by the American Psychological Association in their journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.
Editors of that journal say that “whether children of separated parents should have frequent overnight parenting time with non-custodial fathers has been the subject of much debate but little data” before this study has been shown to support it.
What the Study Found
According to lead researcher William Fabricius, grown children of divorce who had the better relationships with both parents were the ones who had the equal number of overnight visits at both parents’ home during the years of infancy and shortly thereafter.
“Every increase in the number of overnights per week during infancy and toddlerhood was matched by an increase in the strength and closeness of their relationships with their grown children,” Fabricius said.
Did Conflict Between Both Parents Matter?
A key finding of the study was that the results were the same whether or not the overnight parenting was mandated by the courts or the parents agreed upon the equal time themselves.
Conflict between the parents – either at high or low levels of intensity – also seemed to play no role whatsoever in the positive benefits for the children.
Overnight Visits Essential in Establishing Bonds Between Father and Child
According to the study, the father-child bonds are greatly strengthened by getting the father more involved in the child’s life early. The infant care provided by fathers during overnight visits pays off by them learning better parenting skills naturally as they care for their child.
As the father provides care for his child for the whole cycle of the evening – including dinner, bath, bedtime, morning, breakfast, etc. – the two learn about each other, and that knowledge provides the foundation for the development of their future relationship.
If You’re a Father Facing Divorce, Call The Men’s Legal Center
Here’s the bottom line for divorced dads: even though your marriage has ended, your responsibilities as a father have not. Let your children know how important they are to you. While they may not always tell you, deep inside, you mean a great deal to your child.
If you’re a father facing divorce, we urge you to get in touch with us here at The Men’s Legal Center. Our sole purpose is to make sure men have the resources and knowledge they need for the best possible outcome in family court.
You can reach us at 619-234-3838 or via email.