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Stay at Home Dads
Whenever a divorce occurs, all relationships in the family change in one way or another. Managing these changing relationships can be tricky for any dad.
A recent study by researchers at Arizona State University documents what many fathers have always known intuitively: that children of divorced parents are best off when the parents both live in the general vicinity, regardless of who has custody. This is a critical piece of information for any divorced dad who cares about keeping a great relationship with his children.
The study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, debunks the myth found today in courtrooms all around America that it is not a problem when one parent relocates, whether that parent has custody of the children or not.
The study examined fourteen variables related to the stability of college age students who had been subject to a divorce in their growing up years. These measures included the amount of college education contributions from their families, measures of their personal/emotional adjustment, their level of hostility toward their parents, their romantic and friendship choices, their overall personal health and their life satisfaction.
Here are some of the very interesting findings of this comprehensive study:
But being an hour or more away can drive unintended wedges. Often, visitation is less frequent and more complicated. Not being able to be with a child due to physical distance for important crossroads events like birthdays, recitals and holidays can cause emotional distance. And even with modern technology like Skyping, texting, FaceTime and Google Hangouts, it is just not the same as being there.
Kids need their fathers to be close - physically and emotionally. Even the best relationships become strained with added distance. When dad misses important events in their lives, and when time is not invested in the relationship - for whatever reason, kids and dads can find themselves drifting apart. But only coming to the big events is not enough. Dads need to make opportunities to have some one-on-one time with the kids that are not in his custody - time to talk, to listen, to share experiences and to build positive memories. And that simply can't be done when many miles are between the father and his children.
The conclusion is clear—kids are better able to survive divorce when both parents stay located in close proximity to the children. So dad, if your kids’ mom wants to relocate for any reason, you have a significant reason to protest that move with the family court. And if you have an option to stay close by rather than moving away for a new job, a new promotion or a new family situation, consider staying close to your kids. It will make a big difference in your relationship with them