We Protect Men In An Unfair Legal System

Why father-daughter relationships should be protected in divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2022 | Father's Rights

Attitudes – and the law – have evolved in recent decades regarding the importance of fathers having shared custody of their children after divorce. However, there’s still an all-too-common belief that daughters, especially those in the preteen and teen years, need their mothers more than their fathers.

This could be one reason why fathers’ relationships with their daughters typically suffer more than their relationships with their sons when parents split up. Further, girls whose parents divorce tend to have more negative long-term effects into adulthood than boys do. These effects can harm not just their relationship with their father but with men in general, which can affect their career, and with romantic partners in particular.

Why father-daughter relationships too often suffer in divorce

There are other reasons why father-daughter relationships are more likely to deteriorate amid divorce and take longer to repair – if they’re ever repaired – than father-son relationships. Mothers are often closer to daughters than to sons. That means that girls are often more aware of the pain of their mother’s unhappy marriage – even if a mother tries to keep their daughter shielded — and be more likely to side with their mother against their father.

Even if a mother doesn’t try to alienate her daughter from her father (although that’s an all-too-common problem), they may engage in what’s called “maternal gatekeeping.” This typically involves controlling and limiting the access of other caregivers – in this case, the father.

What studies have indicated is best for children

Numerous studies around the world have found that all children, no matter their gender, have better outcomes in multiple areas when they spend at least a third and up to half of their time with each parent. Even infants and toddlers, who may be more closely bonded with their mothers, typically do better emotionally, socially and behaviorally when there’s a shared parenting arrangement.

Alabama law recognizes and encourages joint custody for parents “who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of their children.” That doesn’t mean, however, that equal or nearly equal physical custody is a given. As a father, particularly of a daughter, you may have to work to show that remaining closely involved in your child’s life is the best thing for them. Having sound legal advice can improve your chances of successfully making your case.

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