For generations, the courts have shown a tendency to give mothers preference in child custody cases, as if fathers do not have the same rights or the same ability to parent a child. This is a dangerous stereotype. The reality is that it’s incredibly beneficial for children to have engaged, involved fathers, and taking that relationship away can have a detrimental impact on their lives and their futures.
Just a few benefits
Of course, one main benefit is simply the emotional side of that relationship. Fathers love their children, and their children love them. Seeing that relationship wrenched apart during a divorce can be heartbreaking for both sides.
But this isn’t just an argument about emotions or subjective issues. Studies show that it is absolutely better for kids to know their fathers and have them in their lives. These children are:
- More likely to stay in school
- More likely to stay out of jail or out of trouble with the law
- Less likely to take on high-risk activities
- Less likely to engage in sexual activity at a young age, which could perhaps lead to broken families of their own
- More likely to maintain stable, healthy relationships in their own lives
- More likely to land jobs that pay a very good salary and have success in their careers
- More likely to show that they have a high IQ, even at a young age — as young as three years old, in some studies
- Less likely to have significant psychological problems as they grow up
As you can see, having a father figure can make all of the difference in a child’s life. If it helps that child stay in school, land a high-paying job and start their own family, rather than dropping out and ending up single and in jail, it could be one of the most important aspects of a child’s life. You cannot overlook that.
The child’s best interests
You often hear the courts talk about putting the child’s best interests first. If that truly is the goal, it is hard to argue that anything but having an engaged, involved father is really in the child’s best interests. Clearly, it can change their lives for the better in a multitude of ways, and the list above is just scratching the surface. Fathers help define children’s lives and futures as much as mothers, and they deserve an equal role in their children’s lives.
Unfortunately, that’s not always what they get. If you end up getting divorced and you worry about losing access to your kids, make sure you know exactly what legal steps you need to take in Nebraska.