From the acclaimed, best-selling author of Your Baby & Child and one of the world's leading experts on child development and parenting, a practical, comprehensively researched guide to doing the best for your child during and after separation or divorce. Recent research clarifies why parents--fathers as much as mothers--are so crucial to children of all ages and how their separation can turn children's lives upside down. Drawing on the latest scientific findings, as well as on her many years of professional and personal work with children, Penelope Leach describes how parents can minimize the impact of separation and divorce on children through the six stages of a child's life, from infancy to adulthood. She helps parents find ways to continue being fathers and mothers when they are no longer husbands and wives. She explains recent studies that overturn numerous common assumptions, revealing, for example, that many standard custody arrangements can undermine young children's attachment to parents and in the case of infants even negatively affect their brain development; that unless infants and toddlers are already closely attached to both parents, regular overnights with the noncustodial parent may be damaging; and that dividing a child's time equally between the parents may be "fair" to them but seldom is best for the child. And, throughout, Leach grounds her approach with anecdotal evidence presented in the voices of children and parents themselves. Leach's child-centered advice, profoundly thoughtful and thorough, tackles the issues from every angle--emotional, scientific, psychological, practical, legal--covering everything from access, custody, and financial considerations to managing separate sets of technology in two houses. Above all she is insistent that for the sake of their future development, the needs of children must be put first. She is persuasively clear that mutual parenting, while seldom easy, is the best way forward for both the parents and the children.