Divorce is difficult for both moms and dads. For dads there may be unexpected changes since they may not see their children as often as they did before the separation. They could come home to an empty apartment when previously they could look forward to spending some time with their children at the end of a work day. Discussions and laughter at the dinner table and bedtime stories could have evaporated, leaving dads spending most evenings alone. When the parent only sees the children a few days a week, or every other week, the parental dynamic changes and former routines are disrupted.
There are some things dads can do that may help them through the divorce process and also help them in their new role with their children:
- Determine what type of custody arrangement will work best for your children. Keep in mind their choice of school and extra-curricular activities. Focus on the children’s needs, not your own.
- When custody and visitation are established, try not to miss a visit with your children. If something comes up that necessitates a change, communicate with the other parent to make necessary arrangements.
- Always make sure the children know they had nothing to do with the divorce and that while you are divorced from the other parent, you are still an important part of their lives.
- Continue to attend school events and any other activity involving your children where parents normally attend.
- It’s always best not to talk negatively about the mom in front of the children. They usually look up to their mother, and if you disparage your spouse, they could feel as if you are also disparaging them.
- A therapist could be very beneficial to help you talk about the emotional aspects of divorce. Women, in general, find it easier to talk about their feelings with friends. It gives them an outlet for pent up stress. Some men will talk to their friends about almost anything except for their personal feelings, including a separation from their spouse. Seeing a therapist and all the privacy it entails is a good place to start to discuss and begin the healing process.
California law believes both parents should have an active role in child-rearing. Joint physical custody is the preferred custody arrangement. These tips could help dads get through a very stressful period in their lives.
Contact Kim Mediation and Law Center
At Kim Mediation and Law Center, we strive to help people have a peaceful divorce where moms and dads can work together in the best interest of their children. Contact us for more information.