University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #FAR4002

Father Involvement after Divorce1

Cristine Weitsman and Diana Converse2

Figure 1. 
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

With divorce, four out of five times the mother will be awarded physical custody of the children, sometimes with the father sharing custody. Divorce makes it difficult for non-custodial fathers to remain in contact with their children. It's important to remember to stay involved. According to Garret Evans from the University of Florida, children who grow up with noncustodial fathers who stay involved in their life tend to get higher grades than those without involved fathers. They also seem to have better social skills, which allows them to make friends more easily and handle difficult social situations better. These children also tend to have fewer behavioral problems.

Involvement is important for fathers and their children. Researchers recommend many ways to help you stay involved. For example, make a schedule that you can live up to. Be aware of your child's routines, such as bedtime, homework time, mealtime, and his or her sports or club activities. Read to your child and show interest in your child's school activities to show you value education. And don't be a "vacation" for your child. Don't get caught in the trap of believing that you have to have some special event planned for your child. Vacation-like weekends don't allow you to participate in your child's everyday activities.

Building strong relationships with your children will lead to support and caring in return.

Listening, learning, and living together: it's the science of life. "Family Album" is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and of WUFT-FM. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our website at

To listen to the radio broadcast:



This document is FAR4002, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 134 and published January 2008. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Cristine Weitsman, undergraduate student, and Diana Converse, Extension agent III, Hillsborough County, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.