Courts look to the importance of dads by favoring joint custody

There is a saying: "Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad". This is especially true for dads who are divorced or in the process of divorcing. In definition, the terms father and dad are the same, but their implications have evolved over the years. The main difference is that a father is biological while a dad's relationship is emotional, caring and nurturing. It is harder to commit to becoming a dad and play an active role in your child's life. And in divorce, it is even more challenging to work with a former spouse to co-parent the child in a protective, supportive and responsible way.

Times are changing. In times past, courts would look at the mother as the nurturing parent and first in line for awarding physical custody. Today, the importance of the dad in a child's development has emerged with courts favoring joint custody. Dads impact a child's behavior and development in numerous ways. They are the ones who grill the best of meals. They are the ones who attend and participate in the child's games and practices and cheer them along. They are the ones who teach them to ride a bike or drive a car. They are there in good times and bad providing guidance and a shoulder to lean on. When divorcing, these are the dads that change the relationship with their wife, but the father bond remains intact and even grows as their children grow.

Dads who are active in their children's lives play an important role in determining their future success. A study by Brigham Young researchers contend that, "Although participation in family leisure activities is important and needed, it was fathers' involvement in the everyday, home-based, common family leisure activities that held more weight than the large, extravagant, out-of-the ordinary types of activities when examining family functioning."

Dads have unique roles to parenting encouraging competition, independence, and achievement. Dads encourage risk as a prerequisite to overcoming obstacles and a step in the process to succeed. The dad image is one that protects those he loves and he does so unconditionally. Fathers also seem to discipline with more authority and by doing so gain respect.

Some quotes in celebration of those very special Dads on Father's Day 2014...

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys." ~Harmon Killebrew

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland

A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. ~Author Unknown

One father is more than a hundred Schoolmasters. ~George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs, 1640

A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again. ~Enid Bagnold

Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance. ~Ruth E. Renkel

It is much easier to become a father than to be one. ~Kent Nerburn, Letters to My Son: Reflections on Becoming a Man, 1994

The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God; I call him Dad!
~Author Unknown

I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom. ~Umberto Eco

Dads have a special place in a child's life and deserve the best in representation when the decision to divorce is made. We, at Stange Law Firm, thank those of you who are our clients and clients-to-be and wish you the best this Father's Day.

If you are facing a divorce, Stange Law Firm, PC has the experienced attorneys to help. The firm focuses exclusively on family law in the areas of divorce, legal separation, child custody, child support, paternity, and other domestic relations issues.

For a confidential half-hour consultation with an attorney, call us at 855-805-0595 or contact us online.

Source: Parenting: Why Kids need their Dads, by Steve Loyd