A recent article explored some specific tips for dads going through divorce. Certainly the desire to be a good parent is universal, but the author of the piece felt that some fathers were inadvertently failing to fulfill their family obligations, often not understanding what role they should play to best help their children cope with the split. Experts believe the following to be among the best advice given to fathers in the midst of a divorce:
Pick the right lawyer
Regarding attorney selection, the author takes a somewhat surprising position. Rather than advocate for hiring the roughest, toughest divorce lawyer you can find, fathers are advised to run, not walk, away from overly aggressive attorneys. While a tough-talking lawyer may seem comforting, the reality is that these types of attorneys may end up making a difficult divorce even worse, creating anger and frustration where none needed to exist. Choosing someone more level-headed will not only keep your costs under control, but it can also make the divorce that much easier for the whole family.
Everyone understands how emotional divorce can be. Years of hurt, frustration and unexpressed thoughts can bubble to the surface, sometimes resulting in less-than-ideal behavior. Resist the urge to lash out against your ex-spouse. Expressing that frustration or anger won’t really make you feel any better, and it will certainly make things harder for your children. Having a father trash his children’s mother can put your kids in a very uncomfortable situation, sometimes leading them to resent you. Even if you are the wronged party, it is best to rise above pettiness and show respect to your ex-wife.
Understand the importance of consistency
During a divorce, it is understandable that you may want to hide and lick your wounds. However, you should strive to be consistent with your children, which will help them feel immensely more secure in an otherwise vulnerable time. That means being where you say you’re going to be when you say you’re going to be there. Make time for your kids, be emotionally present when you are together, ask questions, and attend school functions and extracurricular activities. Consistency can also be shown by holding up your end of the bargain financially, so be sure to make your child support and/or alimony payments on time and without complaint.
Source: “How to Be a Good Divorced Dad,” by Calvin Hennick, published at Yahoo.com.