Post-Divorce Treatment of Non-Custodial Dads

Q: Are divorced, non-custodial fathers treated differently by their children’s schools?

Whether you are getting divorced in Phoenix or elsewhere, if you have minor children, there are many issues to work out during the divorce process. 

Parents should not lose sight of how difficult splitting one household into two can be for young children, not just in the short-term after the divorce, but long-term as well. Knowing this, family courts do everything possible to ensure that issues like child support, child custody and visitation–known as legal decision-making and parenting time⁠—are worked out with the best interest of the children in mind. 

In Arizona, visitation is referred to as parenting time and is the time the child spends with each parent. Legal decision-making is the ability of the parents to make important life decisions on behalf of their children. Typically, legal decision-making refers to decisions about the children’s education, religion, healthcare, activities and more. Having a skilled Arizona family law attorney on your side can result in increased decision making and parenting time with your child. 

A father’s rights attorney can help assert your parental rights

Sometimes, it’s necessary for fathers to see a father’s rights attorney in order to assert their parental rights and have a say in the important decisions impacting their children’s lives. This may involve a paternity lawsuit in some cases. Once paternity has been established, a father who wants to be involved in their child’s life⁠—above and beyond the financial obligation of child support⁠—can seek parenting time and custody from the court. 

A recent study found that “two or three years after a divorce 22% of fathers no longer had contact with their children and only 31% saw their children each week”.

Studies also show that divorced fathers often feel left out by their children’s schools if the child doesn’t reside with them at least half of the time after a divorce. They claim they don’t receive timely—or any⁠—notification of important events or progress reports, which tend to go only to the mother/custodial parent. 

There are many reasons why divorced dads should stay involved in their children’s lives and with their children’s schools. The benefits of being a more involved father include the following: 

  • children have higher grades
  • children are less likely to repeat a grade 
  • children are less likely to be suspended
  • children are psychologically, cognitively, and physically healthier
  • children