This chapter explores the loss that children feel when separated from their father by divorce or because their parents never married. Research has found that in most cases, visits are awkward for the child and his parents and contact between fathers and their children decreases over time. Children of divorce experience more negative outcomes than children whose fathers died because they tend to externalize, rather than internalize, their emotions. The degree of loss is not related to the quantity of time that children spend with their nonresident father or the amount of child support. Although recent social policies have attempted to encourage fathers to be more involved in the lives of their children, they do not address the problems faced by men who have other families or who cannot resolve their differences with their children's mother. Children are hurt by the realization that they are not their father's first priority. The chapter emphasizes that marriage is necessary to ensure the security and best interests of the children. 34 notes.
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