If you’re a divorcing father with a daughter, you may have people – even well-meaning people who are on your side – telling you that it’s better for your wife to get more parenting time with your child. You’re probably more likely to hear this if your daughter is in her pre-teen or teen years. You may even believe that girls need their mothers at this stage in their life more than their dads.
Attitudes like this are still common – even in the 21st century. It’s not surprising that researchers have found that father-daughter relationships fare worse than father-son relationships after divorce.
They’ve also found that girls whose parents divorce are more negatively impacted well into adulthood than boys are. Parental divorce is more likely to affect woman’s relationships with men both romantically and professionally throughout their lives.
Shared custody is just part of the solution
Just getting shared custody of a daughter isn’t enough for a father to prevent this from happening. How girls see their fathers treat their mother (even when they’re not getting along), other women and, of course, them can affect how they feel about the opposite sex and how they expect to be treated.
How their mothers deal with the divorce is also important. A daughter may be more likely to take their mother’s side – especially if their mother lets that happen or even encourages it.
Studies of adult children of divorce have shown that no matter what gender they are, they typically have fewer negative ramifications if their parents shared custody of them. Tennessee law states that if parents can’t reach their own child custody, the court will decide, and the “sole consideration in such a decision is the best interests of the child.”
Don’t let other people tell you that you’re less important to your daughter than her mother is. With experienced legal guidance, you can seek the parental rights that you and your child deserve.