Public policy and the law in North Carolina provide that when parents are separated, both parents should have ample visitation with the children unless a parent is unfit. There is a reason for this: it is in children’s best interest to have a continued, ongoing relationship with both of their parents.
According to Dr. Paul Amato from Penn State University, research has demonstrated that children who have involved fathers demonstrate “emotional, social, and behavioral benefits” at every level of their development. These include a:
- Higher likelihood to have high paying jobs;
- Higher likelihood to have higher IQ’s;
- Greater chance to enter into healthy intimate relationships;
- Less of a chance to engage in risky sexual behavior or criminal conduct.
Unfortunately, not all parents remain involved in their children’s lives following a separation. There are too many reasons for this to simply generalize; however, as contentious and disruptive as a divorce can be for former spouses, imagine the impact on their children. Their sense of stability has already been shattered and they are likely to see one of their parents less than half of the amount of time that they used to. This is devastating for children in a truly formative time of their emotional and physical development. Therefore we urge you to remain in your children’s lives with the following in mind:
- Operate in good faith to reach an agreement. If you are in a contentious battle regarding child custody, it is critical that you take a step back and remember what you are fighting fort—the children. In fact, harmonious co-parenting is healthy for children and will result in better outcomes.
- Both the quantity of time you spend with your children, as well as the quality of time, are important. This is why it is important to hire an attorney who understands how to advocate for the maximum time with your children. On that note, make sure to exercise all possible visitation with your children.
- Don’t take your quality time with your children for granted. Engage their minds and take opportunities to lead them by example. Discover activities that will engage their interests. Stay involved and ask questions.
New Direction Family Law
Parenting can be challenging and rewarding at the exact same time. You and your children both deserve an opportunity at a close, bonded relationship with one another. We understand this and want to use our experience in child custody matters to your advantage. We can help you with any child custody and visitation issue. If you need legal advice or representation, contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or visit our website.
Sarah J. Hink
New Direction Family Law