One of the ugly consequences of divorce is that children are always caught in the middle. It is particularly true when the parents were not on good terms when they separated. Unfortunately, kids are used as ammunition to get revenge or blackmail the other party for more parental support.
At the outset, however, even if you are friends with your ex, it is essential that you hire a family lawyer to look out for your best interest. A verbal agreement will not hold up in court in case your former partner decides to change your arrangement mid-way.
There is no denying that parents want the best for their kids even after the divorce. However, the statistics also show that fathers are on the losing end of the stick when it comes to custody battles.
It might not be a conscious decision on the part of the courts, but they seem to favor mothers to become the primary caregivers of the children. You may agree on 50/50 joint custody, but the kids are likely to stay with the mother, which means less time for fathers.
However, it seems the court decisions make sense when you look at the statistics. According to the survey by Pew Research, fathers were spending an average of 6.5 hours per week in 2000 caring for their children. In contrast, mothers spent 13 hours per week caring for their children.
With that said, here are some tips for dads out there who are struggling with the repercussions of divorce:
Never talk badly about the mother –
No matter how tempting, badmouthing the mother of your child will backfire. Forget about your former partner and think about your child. To their eyes, both parents are heroes who can do no wrong. You have no right to tear down that veil for them.
Do not audit your child support payments –
On average, the average child support payment was $430 in 2012. Of course, the amount still hinges on your ability to pay. Unless you see your child wearing ragged clothing or appears to be malnourished, do not question how the mother spends your child support payment. In most cases, especially if both parents are working, the primary caregiver spends more to care for the child.
Record everything –
Even if you are on good terms with your ex, it never hurts to record every detail concerning the child. It is particularly true when you are talking about visitation schedules, child support payments, or your active participation in the life of your kid. The record will serve as your evidence should the child custody battle become ugly.
Get a home –
Regardless of whether you are renting or buying a home, it is crucial that your child has a room or place of their own when they are with you. Children need stability, and the court will take this into account when deciding on the custody battle.
Nevertheless, both parents should set aside their differences and simply be there for their kids. There is a young person who is confused about the arrangement. Their life will never be the same again. It is your responsibility, along with your former partner, to make sure they cope with grief and adjust to the new setup.
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