Psychologists have long believed that infants and toddlers are better off spending most of their time with their mothers. This often leaves divorced fathers in Michigan with limited visitation until children are older. However, a recent study reveals that when fathers have child custody from the earliest years, the children benefit in many crucial ways.

The university study found that when children are allowed to spend time, especially overnight, with each parent, the children’s relationships with both parents benefit. Quality relationships between children and their fathers remained important as the children became young adults. This was less evident among young adults whose fathers did not have overnight custody when the children were babies.

Often, when children are old enough to go to school, their fathers have more time with them. However, the study shows that this does not make up for the time lost when they were infants. Regardless of whether the custody arrangements were voluntary or court-ordered, the benefits of overnight visits with dads remained constant, even during high-conflict divorces. Fathers learned valuable parenting skills while bonding with their children, and mothers had less stress over parenting alone.

Child custody matters in Michigan are complex and sensitive, and it may be difficult to keep the best interests of the children in focus during such an emotional time. However, a compassionate family law attorney can help protect a parent’s relationship with his or her child. Many times, this can be accomplished through less contentious methods such as mediation, saving one’s family from prolonged and often difficult litigation.

Source: sciencedaily.com, “Overnights at dad’s home benefit divorced mothers, fathers and their babies“, Feb. 2, 2017