Do children of divorce want more or less involvement with their fathers? What did researchers find?

The researchers concluded, “The vast majority of participants from divorced families desired more father involvement than they had received. As a result, it appears that divorce leaves many children with unmet desires for paternal involvement–desires that remain salient for many years after the divorce is finalized. This pattern of results is consistent with what Warshak (2003) has called ‘the collective voice of children’ and has argued that this should be used more extensively when making custody and access decisions within the family court system.”

This is now the seventh or eight study showing that children of divorce want more time with their fathers (or non-custodial parents). There are no studies showing the opposite, to the best of my knowledge.

The bar associations continue to oppose shared parenting in most states. I suppose they can be excused–after all, their members have absolutely zero knowledge or training in child development. So maybe they should be a little more humble, and stick to contract law or bankruptcies, instead of telling us what is best for our children.

The self-appointed children’s advocates, such as the Children’s Trust Fund in Boston, also oppose shared parenting. They have less of an excuse than the lawyers. After all, these twenty-something social workers have taken two semesters of child development. This apparently qualifies them to rule our lives.

The research was carried out by Gordon E. Finley, Ph.D. of Florida International University, and Seth J. Schwartz, Ph.D. of Florida State University. They surveyed 484 university students whose parents had divorced. Their research is published in the October, 2007 issue of Family Court Review.

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