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Quality visitations don’t rely on parenting time quantity

Fathers make up about 17.8 percent or one in six of the 13.7 million custodial parents in San Diego and across the U.S. The statistics gleaned from the last census showed the rate of custodial dads remained largely the same in 2010 as it was in 1994. More than 82 percent of separated, divorced and unmarried mothers are primary custodians for their children.

Attorneys know some non-custodial fathers have a hard time transitioning from daily interactions with children to scheduled visitations. The lack of a close physical relationship with children concerns non-custodial fathers. Some dads feel a strong sense of being devalued as a parent, because they no longer have the same quantity of time with their children.

In addition to these insecurities, non-custodial fathers also may feel strained by conflicts with their children's mothers. It's common for former couples to have parenting time disputes, even after child custody and support matters have been settled. The problems can be magnified when the parents develop new, separate adult relationships that affect children's lives.

Many non-custodial fathers dislike the parenting boundaries set upon them by child custody and visitation agreements. Separated and divorced dads may focus heavily on the time not spent with children, instead of how to make the most of the moments they have. Some non-custodial fathers go to extremes, by lavishing gifts on children or spiriting them away on trips to create fantastic and memorable occasions during visitations.

Children certainly aren't going to refuse presents, but kids may come to expect over-the-top generosity. Quality parenting time isn't dependent upon a non-custodial parent's repeated financial investment in fun. All the bells and whistles of making visitations special may not be necessary for children, who primarily require a parent's protection, love and guidance.

Many non-custodial parents eventually realize strong relationships with children can be built with or without a parent's full time physical presence.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Note to Divorced Dads: You Didn't Divorce Your Kids" Joel Schwartzberg, Aug. 12, 2014

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