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Divorced fathers play important roles in their children's lives

With a recent report noting that women are now contributing the majority of the finances in 40 percent of households, the debate over whether fathers truly matter is once again in the spotlight. For Colorado fathers, the resounding answer is yes, and a divorce and subsequent child custody agreement does affect the children in question.

The report uses the shaping of a child's faith as an example. When a couple divorces and children begin to split their time between Mom and Dad, they will also begin to juggle separate churches and belief systems. The absence of religious belief or practice can have major impacts on children's spiritual identify.

Fathers have been shown to play an important role in the shaping of a child's faith and religious beliefs. A recent study found an association between a father's involvement in the religious lives of his children and the likelihood that the child will continue to participate in religious practice. The study also notes that having a father who is not affiliated with the church has more of an impact on the child than having a mother who is not involved.

When a couple divorces and there are children involved, the main concern becomes discovering what is best for the children. Colorado uses a specific formula that considers many factors, including the parents' income, shared income, work histories and other components to determine what the judges believe is best.

The use of this formula may result in the woman having an advantage over the father, especially as more women are bringing home more income and are more often considered to be primary caretakers. While many judges are uncomfortable deviating from this formula, an experienced attorney may be able to help fathers obtain time with their children that they deserve by presenting the specific circumstances of their case.

Source: Huffington Post, "Fathers Matter, Especially After Divorce", Amy Ziettlow, June 12, 2013

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