Building the parental bond after divorce

Parenting is not easy. Parenting after a divorce can be particularly difficult, but researchers continually find that the benefit of a strong relationship between children and their mothers and fathers is worth the extra work.

Experts maintain that children's development is linked to the bond they have with their parents. Another scientific study recently released in a well-respected journal provides further support to this theory. As a result, couples may want to build quality time with each parent into child custody and visitation agreements.

Details of study

The study, conducted by researchers at Baylor University and published in the Journal of Human Communication, focused on the father-daughter relationship. 43 fathers who ranged in age from 45 to 70, and 43 daughters who were a minimum of 22 years-old participated.

The subjects were asked to report "turning points" in their relationship. The turning points included participating in sports together, learning how to drive and attending church events. Those fathers who took the time to join their daughters in these activities were more likely to have a stronger bond.

The researchers found children with fathers who work to have a strong bond were more likely to experience positive growth in their social, emotional and cognitive development. These daughters were more likely to excel academically and less likely to suffer from eating disorders.

This finding was supported by a separate study published in 2011 in the Development and Psychopathology journal. That study found daughters that did not have a strong, healthy bond with their fathers were more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior.

Child custody in New York

New York family law encourages both parents to play an active role in their children's lives. The court does not favor either parent, but instead looks to the best interest of the child when making a custody determination. This can include:

  • Reviewing parenting skills of each parent
  • Considering the parent's mental and physical health
  • Comparing work schedules and child care plans of each parent
  • Considering the child's desires, depending on the child's age

Parents are not required to use a judge to determine how they will raise their children. Instead, they can use a mediator. Mediation is a voluntary process that uses a trained, neutral professional mediator or attorney to assist the parents in developing a parenting plan.

Navigating the child custody laws in New York can be overwhelming. Contact an experienced New York child custody lawyer to discuss your unique situation and better ensure your legal rights are protected