This is the fifth in a series about the ripple effect of divorce and remarriage on family systems from HDNews

Q: What are additional effects of family structure and change on children?

A: Continuing the discussion of the causative links between parent separation and poor child outcomes, there is yet more information provided by the Ministry of Social Development New Zealand publication. Although shared residential custody is becoming more common, research on the post-divorce outcomes for children still center on father absences with mother residential custody.

A single-parent female home provides less available time for parenting. It also lacks the adult role of a male. Also missing with the father absence is an opportunity for children to learn skills in communication, compromise, negotiation and expressing intimacy. However, those skills assume a good marital relationship, when the truth of the matter is many intact marriages do not model these skills.

Father absence from the family home can mean a loss of effective contact with the children. However, research does not support the hypothesis that father absence is a significant factor in negative children outcomes following divorce. Controlled studies between groups of children who have lost fathers from death and those whose fathers were divorced showed no difference. Economic factors were more significant than absent fathers.

Another research result that does not support the causative significance of father absence is remarriage does not improve the well-being of children. The positive influence of a second parent is nullified by the complexities of a step-family. Remarriage also might not improve finances because of the financial commitments from prior relationships.

Read the rest of this article on Divorce & remarriage can have drastic outcome via – an online service of the Hays Daily News.