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(p. 85) Supporting Father Involvement in the Context of Separation and Divorce 

(p. 85) Supporting Father Involvement in the Context of Separation and Divorce
(p. 85) Supporting Father Involvement in the Context of Separation and Divorce

Marsha Kline Pruett

, Carolyn Pape Cowan

, Philip A. Cowan

, Lisa Pradhan

, Sarah Robins

, and Kyle D. Pruett

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date: 07 July 2020

In this chapter we first provide a context for father involvement through a summary of research that is relevant to married and cohabiting couples, as well as those living apart. We show that fathers play a salient role in their children’s development that is unique from mothers’. After summarizing empirical studies, we consider two issues central to father involvement when couple relationships dissolve: what happens when restrictive gatekeeping limits paternal access or involvement; and what issues arise in establishing paternal overnights (when fathers are the less-seen parent) when children are younger than 3 years. Finally, we summarize evidence-based interventions designed to support and enhance co-parenting prior to and after separation and divorce. These programs provide contextual guidance about which aspects of father involvement the court might focus on to promote the greatest opportunities for family reconfigurations that support and sustain all members, especially the children.

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