Divorce Tips for Dads
Kane County Family Law Firm
June is the month when we celebrate Father's Day, a day devoted to the men in our lives who raised us and shaped us into who we are today. For those of us who are fathers, it is also a day to celebrate our role in our children's lives. If you are a father going through a divorce, you might be concerned about how that role will change after the divorce is finalized. The thought of not seeing your children every day can be very stressful and when this is combined with the difficulties of conflict with your spouse and the financial demands of the divorce process, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and fail to live up to the standard you set for yourself as a parent. Falling short this way can cause many of us to become even more stressed, which can have a negative impact on our relationships with our children. If you are currently going through a divorce, do not forget to give yourself the self-care that you need to remain emotionally and physically healthy throughout the process. In our culture, men are often under pressure to suppress their feelings. As you go through the divorce process and enter the months and years that follow, make an active effort not to ignore your feelings. Keep this and the following divorce tips in mind for your own benefit as well as your children's.
Be Willing to Communicate
When you go through the divorce process, you meet a lot of people. In addition to your attorney, with whom you must be willing to discuss the details of your marriage and goals for the divorce, you will likely need to discuss your personal and financial life with others, such as:
- Your accountant;
- A custody evaluator;
- A family counselor;
- A mediator; and
- A business or real estate adviser.
Be Willing to Cooperate
Being flexible and willing to cooperate with the court will benefit you tremendously. When determining a parenting time agreement, the court considers each parent's previous history of cooperation with the court. You might be asked to undergo a psychological evaluation or asked to provide detailed financial statements, for example. By refusing to cooperate with the court, you are only building a negative reputation for yourself.
Remember, You Have Rights
Fathers have equal rights to their children as mothers have. Do not allow anybody to tell you or imply otherwise. As long as you are your child's legal father, you have the right to do any of the following:
- Seek parenting time with your child; and
- Seek child support from your child's other parent to help cover the expenses of raising your child.
You have the right to work with an outside source, such as a child custody evaluator or a child psychologist, to demonstrate your fitness as a parent to the court. You also have the right in the years following your divorce to modify your parenting time agreement or child support amount if you feel either is not appropriate for your child's needs at that time.
Be Conservative with your Money
Getting divorced can be expensive. Even if you divorce through a relatively inexpensive method like mediation, unexpected expenses can pop up. Create a budget for yourself and stick to the budget. After the divorce, you might need to adjust this budget to account for the “new normal,” which might include child support or spousal maintenance payments, rent or a mortgage on a new home, and the loss of your spouse's earnings.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Divorce Attorney
If you are considering filing for divorce in the near future, consider working with an experienced Kane County divorce attorney at Shaw Family Law, P.C. We can answer your questions about the divorce process and provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need to complete it. Contact our firm at 630-584-5550 today to schedule your initial legal consultation.