No one would ever promise that life after a divorce for a parent will be straightforward or easier than it was while married. The big shift in your lifestyle is bound to raise some questions and possibly some fears. Last year, our attorneys from Chung & Ignacio, LLP shared some advice for single, divorced moms. We thought we would revisit the topic but share some advice for newly divorced dads this time.
Find People Who Support You
The worst thing about going through a divorce is that it is easy to feel like you are alone because you are separating from your spouse. Even if you share children with your spouse, it can be difficult or unwise to confide in them since they might be too young to understand the extent of the situation. As a newly divorced father, you should make yourself a support system of people outside your family who you can count on when you need advice or company. Reconnecting with friends and neighbors can be a big help!
Create Goals for Your Own Future
Your children need you to be there for them, but you need to also be there for yourself. An important part of self-care, especially as a divorced father, is setting and seeking goals for the future. Think about your career and where you would like it to go. Start working on side projects and hobbies you might have put off because you were focusing more on your spouse than on yourself.
Remain Calm Under Pressure
Out of all the pieces of advice we have for divorced fathers, this one might be the most important: remain calm. There are going to be times when you feel challenged, insulted, or overlooked by your ex-spouse, such as during a less-than-friendly visitation. You must never let your temper get the better of yourself.
Acting out in a way that could be perceived as threatening is bad, particularly for men. There is a social bias that labels men as violent when confronted. If you don’t stay calm during a confrontation with your ex, they might misread the situation and accuse you of domestic violence. As a result, your divorce orders could be modified to eliminate your child custody rights.
Study Your Divorce Order
The divorce orders approved by the court at the end of your divorce are important. They act as a go-to guide for what you’re supposed to do after divorce, such as when you can see your children or how much spousal support you need to pay each month. Unfortunately, many divorced fathers don’t take the time to fully understand the terms of their divorce order, assuming instead that things will just work out. This assumption is risky because it invites you to unknowingly make mistakes that could land you in trouble with the court.
Tell Your Kids You Love Them
Due to societal expectations and pressures, many fathers shy away from telling their kids that they love them. The sentiment instead comes more often from the mother. After a divorce, it is more important than ever to be willing to show your love for your children as a father. Your children might be wondering where they stand in your life after the divorce and telling them that you love them just as much as before will help them find their footing again. Not to mention, sharing your love instead of keeping it in just makes you feel better, too!
From all of us at Chung & Ignacio, LLP in Rancho Cucamonga, we hope this advice helps you find some peace of mind after your divorce. If you need further legal guidance or representation for a family law case, please feel free to call us at (909) 726-7112.