Whether children of separated parents in Massachusetts two years of age and younger should have frequent overnight parenting time with non-custodial fathers has been the subject of much debate, but little data.
According to the recent study, grown children who had the better relationships with both parents were the ones who had the equal number of overnight parenting time at both parents' home during the years of infancy and shortly thereafter.
And with every increase in the number of overnights per week during infancy and toddlerhood was matched by an increase in the strength and closeness of their relationships with their grown children.
A key finding of the study was that the results were the same whether or not the overnight parenting was mandated by the courts or the parents agreed upon the equal time themselves.
Conflict between the parents either at high or low levels of intensity also seemed to play no role whatsoever in the positive benefits for the children.
According to the study, the father-child bonds are greatly strengthened by getting the father more involved in the child's life early. The infant care provided by fathers during overnight parenting time pays off by them learning better parenting skills naturally as they care for their child.
As the father provides care for his child for the whole cycle of the evening including dinner, bath, bedtime, morning, breakfast, etc. the two learn about each other, and that knowledge provides the foundation for the development of their future relationship.
Here's the bottom line for dads: even though your marriage or relationship has ended, your responsibilities as a father have not. Let your children know how important they are to you. While they may not always tell you, deep inside, you mean a great deal to your child.
If you're a father facing divorce or paternity action, we urge you to get in touch with us here at The Law Offices of Renee Lazar.
Our sole purpose is to make sure men have the resources and knowledge they need for the best possible outcome in family court.
You can reach Attorney Lazar at 978-844-4095 or via email to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.