Because the role of a father in a child’s life is so pivotal for healthy development, both parents should seek to preserve this when they are discussing custody arrangements during an Indiana divorce. The father should be willing to take on equal responsibility, and the mother should realize that it is in her child’s best interests to have the schedule necessary for that strong, healthy bond.
The American Psychological Association notes that fathers need time for appropriate parenting. This includes opportunities for monitoring activities, developing healthy expectations, supporting the child emotionally and providing authoritative discipline. These are major elements in the success of the child’s adjustment after the divorce, so parenting plans should ensure that the child spends adequate time with each parent.
While it is important for fathers to make sure that the time they spend with their children is high quality, according to Psychology Today, their success depends on having enough time for the activities that foster healthy attachments. This goes beyond weekend visitations and involves participating in weekday routines such as providing transportation to and from school, putting the child to bed at night and waking him or her in the morning. Some experts believe that creating equal schedules is the best way to achieve the goal.
Splitting the schedule 50-50 in this way could provide mental health benefits for both parents, which also improves their relationships with their child. For example, an equal plan may eliminate some of the conflict associated with “winning” or “losing” the custody dispute. Fathers are less likely to suffer depression that may have arisen from the loss of time with their children, and it also may eliminate the potential for stress that a mother may have felt if she took on a larger share of the responsibilities rather than dividing the time equally.