The Custody Revolution: The Father Factor and the Motherhood Mystique

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Poseidon Press, 1992 - Social Science - 272 pages
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This ground-breaking book by one of our leading authorities on custody arrangements draws on important original research to present a revolutionary new blueprint for custody decisions. When parents divorce, child custody is the most complex and difficult issue they face. This book shows why so many of the problems attributed to divorce are often the results of our custody practices. Dr. Richard Warshak looks beyond the accepted wisdom to examine what's truly best for children. The Custody Revolution offers not a panacea but a prescription for alleviating much of the suffering of divorced families. It offers a new vision of divorce in America, one in which the needs of the children are given a priority they have not previously had. Dr. Warshak shows how parents can create a family structure that assures children that they have not been divorced, a structure that safeguards their birthright to two parents. Based on scientific studies, Dr. Warshak's thoughtful, commonsense approach questions the practice of routinely awarding custody to mothers and shows why children often fare best in the care of the same-sex parent. In conventional custody arrangements, mothers are overburdened, fathers are reduced to a superficial presence in their children's lives, and children experience a deterioration in their relationship with each parent. Dr. Warshak shows why we have no grounds for discriminating against fathers in custody matters. Recent research has underscored the father's immense contribution to his children's development and has documented the psychologically harmful effects of his absence. Research with father-custody families has proved that fathers are able to competently manage theresponsibilities of single parenting and that their children are as well off as their peers in mother-custody families. The Custody Revolution demonstrates how father custody and joint custody can provide crucial benefits, especially for boys, and makes a strong case for balance in custody decisions offering practical advice on how to keep both parents intimately involved with children and on allowing arrangements to change with the needs and circumstances of the family and the individual child. Aside from the practical advice, this book offers the hope that the drama of divorce can be performed in a civilized manner, on a stage illuminated by wisdom and compassion for our children. Authoritative, accessible, and refreshingly free of psychobabble, The Custody Revolution is essential reading for parents, psychologists, lawmakers, and anyone who cares about children, in a society where divorce is a fact of life. Dr. Warshak shows why handling the custody decision with responsibility, wisdom, sanity, and sensitivity is the single most important thing parents can do to help their children cope with the crisis of divorce.

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Contents

The Birth of the Motherhood Mystique
29
The Father Factor
35
Conventional Custody
51
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Warshak is a clinical, research, and consulting psychologist in private practice and a clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

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