Divorce may be painful for children and affect their behavior, physical and mental health, academic performance, self-esteem, and relationship with their parents. Despite these problems, children may not share their feelings.
Fathers should maintain their relationship with their children, so children do not blame themselves for the marital breakup or feel abandoned. Fathers can sensitively explain why the marriage ended, avoid blaming their ex-spouse and prevent having arguments with their former spouse in front of the children.
Fathers should continue their parental responsibilities. These include attending events, spending vacations and weekends with their children and taking them and picking them up from school and other activities.
However, children are a priority for both parents. They should engage in unified parenting.
If parents have joint custody, they can develop a parenting plan to act in their child’s best intertest and help avoid conflicts. Plans usually cover child visitation, transport responsibilities, overnight visits, and joint holidays.
Parents can draft these plans themselves or seek a mediator’s assistance. A judge may have to approve the plan.
Military service, work or distance can complicate the ability for fathers to be with their children. Contact and relationships can be maintained with video calls, daily messages and sending unexpected gifts.
Parents should assure that their children’s needs are paid for. It is important for parents to discuss child support and possible spousal support before divorce.
If financial issues are organized and resolved, parents are less likely to argue and avoid hostility in front of their children during visits, drop offs and pickups.
Attorneys can help parents protect their rights. They can assist them with developing child support and custody plans that meets their family’s needs and protects the child’s best interests.