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Consistent Parenting Time Healthier for Divorced Dads

Posted on in Parenting Time (Visitation)

Consistent Parenting Time Healthier for Divorced DadsStatistical studies have calculated that people who are divorced are more than twice as likely to commit suicide than their married counterparts. While that number is concerning, the statistics become more alarming when comparing suicide rates between divorced men and divorced women. According to one study, divorced men are nearly 10 times more likely to commit suicide than divorced women. Researchers have searched for a reason for the disparity between men and women. One logical conclusion is that divorced fathers feel more anger and depression because they often have less parenting time than mothers.

Health Risks

Suicide is the most extreme consequence of post-divorce depression. Divorced men and fathers tend to lead more unhealthy lifestyles and make poorer choices. This may include:

  • No longer attending doctor’s appointments;
  • Not following through on medical instructions;
  • Poor dietary habits;
  • Risky sexual activity; and
  • Reckless behavior.

Part of the reason for these changes in divorced men is that they no longer have spouses to notice unhealthy behavior and pressure them to see a doctor or eat healthier. However, the absence of children also plays a role in these changes. Fathers may take care of themselves because of their need to be able to protect and provide for their children. Without the children’s regular presence, the father may lose that motivation.

Parenting Time

Though divorce has become more gender neutral, mothers are still more likely to receive a majority of the parenting time with the children when determining the allocation of parental responsibilities. Society has a bias that mothers have stronger connections to their children. Even if this is the case in a marriage, the father’s connection to the children should not be discounted. A significant reduction in parenting time will upset a father, which can lead to bitterness and depression. A post-divorce parenting plan should allow both parents to remain involved in their children’s lives. For a father without a majority of the parenting time, this may include:

  • Scheduled visits with the children;
  • Continued communication when not with the children;
  • Regular updates on important matters concerning the children;
  • Flexibility to see the children on special occasions; and
  • Participation in fun activities with the children.

Father’s Rights

Some researchers have concluded that the negative health effects of divorce means fathers should reconsider getting divorced. This conclusion is unreasonable in many cases, when the marriage itself is unhealthy. The better tactic is to reach a parenting agreement that preserves your rights as a father. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, PC, can help you negotiate a fair parenting plan. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.


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