Single Dads: What Happens to Children of Non-Custody Single Dads?

Single Dads: What about the children of these disposable single dads? In many instances, their dad shares their lives on an ever declining basis.

  Single Dads: Although the divorce courts are improving, too many single dads are still treated as "part-time" dads.  

Single Dads

Disposable Dads:
What Happens to the Children?
By Rob McLean

Although the divorce courts are improving, too many single dads are still treated as "disposable."

What about the children of these disposable dads?

In many instances, dad shares their lives on an ever declining basis.


Possibly because society, and maybe even the dads themselves, no longer consider these dads full-time fathers.

The strong cultural guidelines that shape our society’s definition of motherhood defines women as mothers even when they no longer live with their children.

This is not necessarily true for society and fathers.

Frank Furstenberg and Andrew Chelin, characterizing divorced and single dads in Divided Families, What Happens to Children When Parents Part (Family and Public Policy, I), write, "When these men stop living with their wives and children, they no longer see themselves (or are seen by their former wives) as full-fledged fathers. It is as if their license for parenthood were revoked when their marriage ended."

Although the best situation for children of divorce is one in which they maintain close relationships with both parents, study after study has shown a decrease in the amount and frequency of time the single dad spends with his children when they do not have custody or joint custody of the children.








What factors tend to influence noncustodial dad’s involvement with the children?

  • Travel time needed to reach children.
  • Funds needed to visit children.
  • Remarriage of dad or mother of children.
  • Dad having another child.
  • Financial stability of dad.
  • Custodial parent who does not interfere with visitation or make it more difficult.

Single dads who maintain contact with their children are also more likely to offer financial support to these children.

This could be a chicken-and-egg situation: Single dads who are unable to pay child support may end contact either because it is hard to face their kids/ex-wife or those dads fear they will be caught.

Regardless, not only does a single dad’s involvement decline over time, but his financial support drops as well.

Again, there is no doubt that single dads’ are getting more favorable treatment by the courts now than in the past, yet single dads still have a long way to go.

What happens to the children of these single dads?

More ->  
<- Back

SOLO for Singles: Readers’ Comments from Single Dads:

When my ex-wife moved my children to Houston, I knew I would do everything possible to stay-in-touch. After all, Houston is near Dallas. Unfortunately, long-distance fathering has many obstacles and we are drifting further apart.
Tom S.


For more information about single parenting, click here.



Single Parents



Copyright © 1991-2010
CyberParent, LLC  All rights reserved.

Note: The opinionsexpressed herein are exclusively those of the writers or other participants and do not necessarilyreflect the position of CyberParent, LLC. They are not intended to take theplace of advice of a health, legal, or other professional whose expertise youmight need to seek.

You might also like More from author