Could an Equally Shared Residential Schedule Make You A Better Dad?

If a judge does not order that you be the primary parent, it does not mean you have to take a back seat as a parent. With careful attention and commitment, a shared Parenting Plan can help you become a better father.

It can feel that after a divorce, anything less than equal residential time with your children is a defeat. Instead, it could be an opportunity to focus on your relationship with your children and take on parental duties you might have otherwise left to your spouse.

How can things get better after a divorce?

If you are still devoted to being the best dad you can be, research suggests you are already ahead of the curve. All too often, fathers become “weekend dads” which can start a cycle of frustration, feelings of defeat and a breakdown of their relationship with their children.

The following are encouraging statistics about children and divorced dads:

  • The American Psychological Associationconcludes that children of divorced or married parents that spend time evenly with both parents have more stable emotional, academic, and social lives.
  • The S. Department of Educationfound that a nonresident father’s active involvement in their child’s school activities, rather than only frequent visitation, directly impacts their children’s well-being and academic performance.

This could mean that the everyday joys of being a dad, such as helping with homework, giving advice, attending important performances and parent-teacher conferences can scientifically improve your child’s life. Consistency is key in this case. Inconsistent parents, of any gender, can have the opposite effect.

Ideally, after a divorce, the environment changes from one of stress and arguments to one of relative stability. When children spend a significant amount of time with either parent in these lower-stress environments, parents give them a better platform to become productive, balanced adults.

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The Law Offices of Stacy D. Heard, PLLC

Stacy Heard is an accomplished and well-respected family law attorney in Seattle, Washington who has served clients for over 20 years. Stacy specializes in matrimonial and family law. She handles matters of divorce, high-conflict parenting plan/child custody issues, international custody disputes and Hague Convention cases, complex financial issues, relocation, restraining orders, child support, and modifications of Parenting Plans and Child Support Orders.

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