Navigating Life as a Single Dad After Divorce
Divorce affects everyone differently, but in New York, fathers tend to get the short end of the stick in matters such as child custody and support. Society often scrutinizes men harsher than women when it comes to their parenting styles and capabilities, but the bottom line is both men and women are equal under the law. Sex shouldn’t matter.
Our Orange County lawyers have seen a growing number of fathers experience negative outcomes in their divorce, and despite the circumstances that lead to those unfavorable results, it is important for these individuals to have support and guidance for themselves and their children as they navigate their post-divorce lives.
If you are a father going through a divorce, don’t assume that the odds are automatically stacked against you. Despite the social stigma surrounding divorces for men, you deserve the best possible outcome in your situation. That being said, our attorney encourages you to consider the following 10 tips for divorcing fathers below so you can have the best shot at succeeding and thriving in your new chapter.
Be proactive: You don’t want to be asked to do things, such as showing up to your kids’ soccer games or picking them up from school. During your divorce, you want to take initiative by proving that you deserve just as much parenting time as your spouse. Collaborate with your partner throughout the divorce so they see how hard you are trying to be the best version of yourself for your kids, despite how difficult and emotional a divorce can be.
Maintain active communication: Communication is key. When things go south, such as during a divorce, you want to keep open lines of communication with your spouse and importantly, your kids. Doing so will demonstrate that you are present, active, and engaged in their lives, no matter where you live. Remember, your divorce will change how often and how long you can see your children, therefore, it is in your best interests to stay connected with them at all times.
Don’t move out: Once you and your spouse decide to get divorced, don’t leave the family home. A lot of parents feel the urge to escape the reality of their situation, however, you want to keep the family intact through thick and thin. Putting your family first will show the family court judge that you deserve fair custody rights. If your spouse gets an order of protection against you, however,
Put your kids first: As just mentioned, you want to put your family first in good times and bad. While your world may feel like it’s crumbling down, it’s important to remember that your children are feeling the same way, too. As such, they could use all the support they can get. Be their shoulder to cry on and the reason they smile. It will pay off today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Keep records: It can be time-consuming, but keeping detailed records of everything you do and everything that happens to you can work out in your favor in your divorce. Write down when you see your kids, your purchases for them, your communication efforts with your kids and your spouse, and anything else you think is significant.
You should always hope for the best but expect the worst in your divorce, such as a long and draining custody battle. Recording key details may help mitigate these tough situations and put you in a better position to get the outcome you want. For instance, you should screenshot hurtful text messages from your spouse and save social media posts with photos of your spouse and their new significant other. Taking these steps could ultimately give you the upper hand in your divorce.
Be on your best behavior: As always, but particularly in your divorce, you should behave well. This means you should avoid drinking in public, going to the bars and clubs every weeknight, and bringing your new significant other home. The more you “lay low,” the better.
Be the bigger person: Divorce can bring out the worst in people. Spouses can say nasty things to one another and do things they never thought they would do if it hadn’t been for this devastating turning point in their life. As such, try to “smooth” these “rough waters” by taking the high road. When your spouse throws jabs and gets toxic towards you, continue being civil and cordial. Reacting to your spouse’s bitterness may only backfire.
See your children often: One of the best things you can do for yourself, your kids, and your divorce matter altogether is to see your kids as much as you can while obeying your parenting schedule. We said it before but it’s worth repeating. Maintaining close ties with your little ones despite the burdensome circumstances can make a world’s difference in everyone’s emotional and mental wellbeing. Doing so can also set you up for a successful post-divorce life free of court order modifications and stressful encounters with your ex.
Take care of yourself: Self-care is the best care, especially during divorce. Stress can take a massive toll on your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, so consider exploring outlets such as exercising, going outside, reading a book, talking to a therapist, or trying that new hobby you’ve always wanted to do. Also, remember that you are not alone.
Countless other dads are in your shoes, even ones with whom you have a personal or professional relationship. If you have divorced dads in your social circle, reach out to them for support. And if you don’t, there are plenty of support groups and resources out there to get you through this.
Hire a lawyer: The most essential advice we have is to hire an attorney. A lawyer can represent your rights, guide you through the process, negotiate for fair outcomes, and champion your best interests every step of the way. You want a legal advocate who knows how to help you achieve your short-term and long-term goals without settling for less than what you need and deserve as a father. If you’re looking for an attorney who is experienced and competent in New York divorces, look no further. You’ve come to the right place.
Choosing a lawyer to represent you in your divorce is a life-changing decision, so choose wisely by putting the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC in your corner! To schedule your consultation, contact us online or at (845) 605-4330 today. We are your trusted attorneys when happily ever after fades away.