In divorce it is normal to have hurt feelings, maybe even feel like life would be easier if an ex-spouse was simply never around again. However, when children are involved -- and an ex is a good parent -- trying to stop him or her from being a part of their child's life is selfish and hurts the child.
Studies have shown how important it is for daughters to have close relationships with their fathers. In fact, one study published in the journal Development and Psychology found that those girls who grow up with a lower quality of fatherhood in their lives tend to take more dangerous risks during their adolescent years. This is yet just one of the reasons that fathers need to make sure to have an active role in their children's lives, even after a divorce.
There is no doubt about it: Divorce can be hard on a dad. Many go from being able to see their children every day of the week to having to stick to a visitation schedule. However, it is important for Missouri fathers to keep in mind that they still have rights as a father -- even if they don't have primary custody -- and that it is possible to have a consistent and meaningful relationship with their children after a divorce.
It was a little more than a year ago that we posted about the importance of a DNA paternity test to determine who the father of a then-newborn was. The mother was claiming that father was famed pop star Justin Bieber, a claim the 18-year-old adamantly denied. After the scandal broke, Bieber also took to the talk show "The View" to insist he had taken a DNA paternity test to prove he was not the father.
Fathers incorrectly assume that if their name is on a child's birth certificate, their rights as a parent are automatically established. However, this could not be farther from the truth. In fact, without first properly establishing paternity, a father could end up actually finding himself in a tricky situation where he must pay child support, but still has no visitation schedule or decision-making rights as a parent.
When it comes to fathers' rights there are a litany of concerns. A father has rights to be a parent. This means time to spend with their child and a visitation schedule that is fair to everyone involved. However, it does not just end with just actual physical time with a child, as fathers should also have a say in medical decisions affecting their children.
It's a sad truth, but there are roughly 24 million children in the U.S. who do not live with their biological fathers. In many of these cases, there may not even be any contact. For these children, to grow up without their father not only takes away from the important bonding experience kids have with their parents, but in many cases it also means one less positive male adult role model in the child's life.
Being a divorced father who is co-parenting with an ex-wife can certainly be difficult -- especially if the father and mother don't get along. This being said, parenting is something that doesn't end at a certain age. A father's role is not over in his son or daughter's life once he or she reaches the age of 18. This means co-parenting also continues on, which is why it's important for both parents to be able to work together from the very start to be able to keep a strong bond with their children.
With more and more children being born to unmarried parents there has been an increase in the demand for paternity tests. In fact, this demand has been so high that in one city there is even a mobile clinic that offers DNA paternity testing on the spot. With a prescription from a doctor and roughly $299 -- depending on the service -- a person can stop up at the 28-foot recreational vehicle and submit a sample. About three to five days later the results are in.