Fathers are increasingly expecting to be involved in hands-on caregiving, and the co-parental dynamic arising from the partners' beliefs about father involvement may impact the couple's relationship. Using the first two waves of the Fragile Families survey, this paper investigates the two partners' beliefs about the importance of fathers' caregiving. When partners do not believe that fathers' caregiving is important, they are more likely to end their union. Unmarried partners are less likely to marry if the mother does not believe that fathers' caregiving is very important. Together, these findings suggest that when parents value fathers' day-to-day, hands-on involvement, they have a stronger commitment to their relationship, potentially increasing the resilience of nonmarital unions. (Author abstract)
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