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Child custody and visitation and the threat of fatherlessness

Fatherlessness has been linked to many behavioral problems in children nationwide, including in Illinois. When fathers play no role in child custody and visitation, the consequences have proved to include alcohol and drug abuse, violent crime, unwed pregnancies, truancy, psychological disorders and, in some cases, even suicide -- not by the absent fathers necessarily, but by their children. Records indicate that one in every three children nationwide -- or 24 million -- live in homes where their fathers are absent.

The U.S. Department of Education published "A Call to Commitment: Fathers' Involvement in Children's Learning," showing that children's performance in school is better -- they learn more and exhibit healthy behavior when they have relationships with their fathers. This proved to be true even when fathers don't live in the same homes as their children. Relevant studies show the positive, lasting impact on the children by the active involvement of fathers.

If the best interests of children are indeed the measure by which child custody is awarded, shared parenting will win in most cases. Disputes and differences are typically present in divorces, but that should not take the focus away from the interests of the children. Although family dynamics change during separation or divorce, parenting must continue with as little change as possible. In fact, parents should work on positive parenting changes at this difficult time rather than negative ones that will cause suffering for the children.

Any parent who is considering divorce and has questions about how to navigate such an emotional experience while causing minimal trauma for the children may find the support and guidance of an experienced Illinois attorney helpful. A lawyer can explain the child custody and visitation options and assist with negotiations to achieve what would be best for the children. He or she can provide valuable input when it comes to preventing circumstances in which the children would be fatherless.

Source: familyreunionusa.org, "Shared parenting: Kids win when separated parents have equal rights and responsibilities", Dianna Thompson, Accessed on Oct. 6, 2017

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Courtney, Clark & Mejias, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

Toll Free: 866-921-8767
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