Kids with actively involved dads fare better in life

It can be painful and destructive  for a child to grow up as many do, without an involved and active father in their daily lives, yet many children growing up in New Jersey and in the U.S. are deprived of this right. In a vast number of cases, it is rarely the father’s choice to be absent or to be defined as the “back-burner” parent. For decades, mothers in New Jersey and throughout the U.S. have traditionally been awarded  the roles of primary caregiver or what is often referred to as parent of primary residence in divorce and child custody cases, says the Child Welfare Information Gateway. While, loving, attentive, involved caring dads may long to spend much more time with their children, they are too frequently disempowered, by at no fault of their own,  having had their hands tied because of a judge’s decision.

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According to, only 10 percent of fathers in the country receive primary custody of their kids, and just 20 percent receive joint custody. Additionally, common terms referring the home of the parent who has more time as the “primary” residence can undermine a dad’s importance in his kids’ lives. When a child is told it’s time to “visit” Dad, he or she often grows up feeling like their father is just someone who gets occasional visits, tantamount to a distant uncle, rather than someone who diapered them, cared for them when they were sick and attended all of their school functions before the word divorce entered into their lives.  The question asked by so many fathers faced with this emotionally crushing reality is why shouldn’t I  have an equally important role as a decision-making parent in my child’s life?

Kids With Involved Fathers Grow Up More Balanced

Both the National Fatherhood Initiative and Psychology Today say there are immeasurable benefits to children growing up with both parents actively involved in their lives, even if they no longer live in the same household. These can include:

  • Better grades.
  • Fewer behavioral issues.
  • Healthier social and emotional functioning.
  • Ability to adjust to parents’ divorce and other stressful situations.

On the opposite spectrum, fathers’ rights advocates say that kids with absent dads have higher chances of being incarcerated, having problems in school and managing anger and other emotional issues they will encounter in their daily lives as they mature.

Sadly, far too many dads aren’t allowed the opportunity to parent their children at all, as in the case of a Utah man who unwillingly had his son put up for adoption three years ago. NBC News said that the unmarried parents had planned on raising their son jointly, but the day after the boy was born, the man’s ex-girlfriend signed him off to another couple without the young father’s consent or knowledge. He was compelled to  file a federal lawsuit against his child’s mother.

A Dedicated Fathers’ Rights Attorney Can Help

It’s emotionally devastating for fathers who don’t get as much parenting time as they’d like, and it’s even more traumatic on the children who loose a parent through divorce and separation of the child’s parents. It is critically important to talk to a family law attorney who focuses on preserving the rights of caring and loving fathers, as well as the rights of their children to have equal access to both parents.