A recent university study may give hope to fathers in Michigan who long for more time with their children after a divorce. While commonly accepted research indicates that children benefit from equal time with mothers and fathers, child custody is typically granted to mothers of infants and toddlers. However, the latest study shows that infants also reap the benefits of more time with dad.
Spending time with their fathers as infants seems to enhance children's relationships with both parents well into young adulthood. People in their late teens and early 20s tend to be closer to their parents if they were allowed frequent overnight visits with their father when they were babies. Apparently, the bond is sealed at a very young age, particularly around 2 years old, because the relationships were not as close in those people who stayed with their fathers overnight only after age five.
Overnight visits seem to make the difference. Bedtime at dad's house allows fathers to become intimately involved in a child's life from the earliest age. At the same time, children spending time with their fathers reduces stress on divorced mothers who may feel the weight of responsibility early in a child's life.
Even if the child custody arrangements were court ordered or the divorce was contentious, spending more time with fathers had a positive effect on the children in the study. Michigan parents who desire to make their divorce as gentle on their children as possible may seek the advice of a family law attorney. An attorney will help them weigh their options and determine the best way to negotiate a fair agreement.
Source: livescience.com, "Why Young Kids Should Spend Equal Time with Divorced Parents", Sara G. Miller, Feb. 2, 2017