The Effects of Fatherlessness on Children of Divorce
With the highest divorce rate in the world right here in the U.S. the once traditional family is becoming less of the norm. More than 60% of all children today will be raised by only their mothers for some duration of their childhood. In custody battles with two equally fit parents, mothers are awarded custody four out of five times with fathers receiving a mere four days a month visitation with their children. Thomas Parish, a writer for the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality states “the impact of parental divorce and subsequent father absence in the wake of this event has long been thought to affect children quite negatively” (Edwards, 2001). With the high divorce rate in the United States and other countries and a belief supported by the family court system and society that children belong with their mothers, the important influence of fathers on their children is overlooked at a cost that is proving to be detrimental to our children.
The popularity of divorce has grown here in the United States as well as all over the world, leaving more and more children to grow up in a single parent home. Current U.S. census data shows a divorce rate of 50%, and it increases from there with subsequent marriages. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers estimates the number of divorces each year to be in the millions (Henderson, 2006). The chart below illustrates the divorce rate in various countries showing the United States clearly in the lead.
Figure 1. A demonstration of the divorce rate in various countries.
From The Christian Party, World Divorce Rates, 2007.
Divorce is a time of much conflict and high levels of stress and if there are children involved the situation becomes even more difficult, often resulting in the absence of the father. Four out of every 10 children in the U.S. grow up in a home without their father (Solomon-Fears, 2005). This lack of father involvement has...