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Kids need access to both parents for their emotional well-being

One of the most heartbreaking challenges a parent will go through during a divorce is spending less time with his or her children. After a divorce, one parent may end up with the majority of parenting time, while the other could be relegated only to weekends or a few days out of the month. Traditionally, many people believe the mother ends up having the most time with the children, while the father is put on the back burner as the "other" parent - one who is no longer as involved in his kids' lives as he would like to be. 

But recent studies are showing that spending time with their fathers is just as crucial for children's development as being raised by their mothers. Fathers' rights groups are forming all across the country, and are being supported even by mothers, who realize the importance of their children having the benefit of both parents. There were 641 divorces in Peoria County in 2011, according to the latest data by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Thinking of the best interests of their children, many of the parents in those divorces will have opted for joint parenting; however, some will have needed to go to court to ensure they were given enough time with their kids.

Dad loses son without his knowledge or consent

It's especially difficult when a court denies a father's right to be a dad. An unmarried father from Utah recently filed a lawsuit against his son's biological mother, after she gave away their baby for adoption three years ago, according to Yahoo! News. The couple had broken up during her pregnancy, but they had agreed to share custody of the boy; however, the day after he was born, she put him up for adoption without his knowledge.

This boy has the benefits of two parents; however, he has never met his biological father, and his father has not been able to participate in his upbringing. Other children across the U.S. and in Illinois are missing out on the benefits of being raised by two parents. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, kids who have access to both parents are raised with the advantages of both the mother's and the father's unique parenting styles. Involved and caring dads have a positive effect on daughters' self-esteem, teach their sons how to handle conflict, help their kids to be more emotionally secure and teach them how to handle stress and frustration.

Focus on the Family says that fathers parent and play differently than mothers, and both parenting styles balance each other out. With different playing, discipline and communication styles, dads can help their kids build confidence and learn skills for the real world.

Getting help from an attorney

It can be hard for many dads to gain ground against longstanding beliefs that the mother should get the majority of time with the children. However, fathers are gaining ground in many states, and parents and lawmakers are realizing the importance of the children growing up with the influence of two caring parents. It can help to contact an experienced divorce attorney to discuss your rights regarding child custody and support.

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