This book analyzes the issues surrounding divorce and its implications for public policy. The authors integrate research and policy perspectives of scholars in various disciplines to focus on the consequences of divorce for children, the parents' responsibilities after divorce, nonresidential parenting, and the effects of a high divorce rate in society.
Part II: Parental Responsibility after Divorce
Arguably the most important decisions inaugurating postdivorce life for children concern the allocation of parental responsibility to offspring. It is not only the legal allocation of custodial responsibilities and the arrangement of visitation that shape postdivorce family life, but also the informal processes by which these arrangements are negotiated, the felt obligation each parent assumes for ensuring that the child maintains a continuing, happy relationship with the other parent, and the emotions associated with marital dissolution that will continue to color postdivorce life. Although formal decisions concerning custody and visitation create only broad parameters governing postdivorce life—as family members' lives change over time, parental caregiving responsibilities evolve also—these decisions create the conditions that make it either easy or ...