Divorce is never easy, especially for dads. The divorce process can hinder self-confidence, ability to manage the father and son relationship, as well as moving after the divorce papers are signed.
To help dads survive divorce, we came up with 7 essential divorce survival tips just for dads. Let’s get right into it!
1. Stay Calm and Get Divorced
Divorce can get pretty ugly at times. Tempers can flare quickly and animosity with a slip of the tongue can give your soon to be ex-spouse ammunition later on. This is why it’s important to stay calm during the process, regardless of what others say.
Staying calm also allows you to really process what’s happening. This gives you a bit of peace of mind to deal with the divorce in a calm, intelligent way while also keeping the relationship with your child or children a priority.
2. Never Move Out
One of the most important divorce survival tips for dads is to not move out of the home during the divorce. Why? When you move out of the family home, you are giving “practical” custody to your spouse. This can be used against you later if a custody battle ensues.
Moving out is tough on the father and child relationship, as most kids don’t really know what is going on. Instead of moving out, make a spare bedroom your new home, the garage, or anything else livable on your home’s property. This will put you in a better legal position down the road.
3. Be Prepared for Bumps in the Road
No divorce is easy, but some are bumpier than others. For instance, your wife may file false accusations against you to get you out of the home and help her case for custody. This makes it important to know that the road might be bumpy.
Bumpy moments like the one described above can take an emotional toll on dads, especially if kids are caught in the crossfire, like watching police come to the home over and over due to false accusations. Keep your wits and be prepared for anything.
4. Write Everything Down
With the above accusations a possibility, it is absolutely vital you begin keeping a journal of everything that is said when you and your spouse communicate. Write down any and all threats made like, “I will take the kids from you” or “I’m going to make you pay” in case false accusations begin to surface during the divorce.
Also keep a logbook of everything you do daily. This includes dates, times, purchases, and don’t forget to keep receipts. Also write down the people you were with during the day in case you need an alibi. This may sound a bit paranoid, but it very well could save you from criminal charges or losing the right to see your children.
5. Become a Living Saint
Maybe you meet with college buddies twice a month for beers and a burger. What’s the harm right? Wrong! If possible, cut down your daily routine to work, gym, time with kids, and sleep.
Stay away from anything that could land you in hot water during the divorce proceedings. This also includes hanging out with friends that may have a criminal record. Sure they have cleaned up their act, but the court may not see it that way, giving your spouse custody of your kids.
6. Get an Exceptional Divorce Lawyer
Dads dealing with divorce need to take it seriously. Not only is your personal property and retirement on the table, but also the future you’ll have with your children.
You certainly don’t want to gamble with not getting a lawyer, or just choosing the first one you find on Google. Not to mention the stress and everything you’ll need to address during the divorce.
“You’ll be dealing with a variety of issues along the way, including child custody, distribution of marital properties, and child and spousal support,” Miller and Steiert, a Denver family lawyer firm explained. An exceptional lawyer is compassionate about what your dealing with, as well as competent at what they do.
7. Remember . . . You’re Still a Dad
Top priority should be your kids. Dads that go through a divorce often find solace in building an even stronger relationship with their children. It is also good for your kids to have you in their lives, just as before, with communication lines open.
It’s important, however, to keep the family unit as strong as possible. Not so much the physical one, but the emotional one. Don’t say anything negative about your spouse in front of your kids, even if your spouse is doing it.
Remember survival tip #1: Stay calm and get divorced!
Survive Your Divorce
It’s going to be a stressful and emotional road during the divorce process. As a dad, it is even more challenging as you try to balance divorce and the relationship with your kids. It’s best to keep a level head and seek advice from a divorce lawyer to help lighten the load along the way. Are you a divorced dad? Tell us how you got through it.