Marriage and family therapist Mitchell Rosen, of California, wrote an editorial in the Riverside Press-Enterprise about the importance of fathers being actively involved in the lives of their children. Obviously, the significance of the timing is the upcoming Father's Day holiday.
First, he insists that bias against fathers in family courts is not nearly as prevalent as many would have you believe. His experience most likely is limited to California; thus, an Illinois family law attorney might have a different take on how local courts handle child custody and visitation cases.
But it's important to point out that Illinois' Dept. of Human Services has a program called the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, which has the stated goal of working to end father absence and promoting responsible fatherhood. It hosts training seminars and workshops ranging from changing a diaper to raising a happy baby.
But the point of Mitchell Rosen's editorial is that children benefit tremendously from exposure to positive male adult role models; ideally, that would be the child's father. He makes the important point that men's child-rearing styles differ from those of mothers, which helps children become more well-rounded as they grow up:
Children who feel valued by both parents often have a greatly enhanced self-image. It is much more than throwing around a ball, going to the park or being tossed in the air.
The reality of divorce and child custody disputes is that the children often are caught in the middle. An experienced, astute divorce attorney in Chicago will recognize the importance of always considering the best interests of the children, knowing that courts rely on what's best for the kids when awarding custody and visitation rights.
So despite the headaches and heartaches that usually accompany a divorce proceeding, both mother and father should insist that dad (if he's a decent person) remain involved in his children's lives.