New Study on Benefits of Paternity Leave After a Divorce

When you get divorced in Michigan and have minor children from the marriage, adjusting to new ways of parenting can be complicated and difficult. After a divorce, not only do single parents need to make new plans for childcare when there are unexpected professional obligations, but single parents also have to think about the needs of their kids more than ever given the ways in which a divorce can affect a child's emotional state. In other words, after a divorce, single parents frequently are juggling two seemingly contradictory situations - working out childcare solutions for work-related purposes while also spending more time with the children.

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Ball State University, paternity leave can help fathers after divorces to improve their relationships with their children as well as their ex-partners. We want to say more about the study and its implications for parents considering divorce in Michigan.

How Paternity Leave can Help After a Divorce

The recent study focuses on the benefits of paternity leave soon after the birth of a child, but the study has implications for paternity leave after a divorce, too. More specifically, the study intimates that dads who are able to take paternity leave after a divorce, especially if their children are under the age of 5, could see particular benefit in the parent-child relationship as well as in the relationship with the child's mother when it comes to co-parenting.

The researchers were especially interested in how paternity leave could help disadvantaged fathers. For most fathers, the possibility of paternity leave often seems nonexistent, but the study suggests that taking some time off can allow fathers in particular in more traditional family models to become more engaged parents.

In the new study, the researchers suggest that employers should reassess their workplace models after a family welcomes a new child or after a divorce, and to consider whether paid leave may be available in order to "endorse more egalitarian parenting arrangements."

Complications of Paternity Leave

While the study suggests that paternity leave-and other workplace policies designed to give fathers a way to take paid leave in order to spend more time with their kids-could have psychological benefits for all of the parties involved, there are many obstacles to putting such policies in place.

First, the U.S. does not require any employer to provide paid leave under most circumstances. Second, many employers do not think of divorce as an experience for which an employee should be eligible to take a leave of absence, even if it is unpaid. In order to change workplace policies surrounding leave time, the first step may be demonstrating that divorce is a significant family event that should not be treated so differently from the birth of a child in that both situations require a parent to spend extra time with their kids.

Contact a Michigan Divorce Attorney

Do you have questions or concerns about how your divorce process will deal with child custody and other issues involving your minor children? A compassionate Michigan divorce attorney can help. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today.