Divorce Advice for Dads: Coping With the Stress of Divorce and Child Custody Battles
Divorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through, but that stress is significantly worsened when children are involved. Many of our Austin divorce clients are fathers who find themselves struggling to readjust to single parenthood and need a little divorce advice. If they weren’t the primary caregivers to their children during marriage, it can be tough to step into this role for the first time. Many find that they’re being scrutinized by their ex-partners, and even made to feel as though they’re not capable of being a primary caregiver and making the right decisions for their children.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by emotion, and we hear many fathers say things like: “My wife left me – what’s the point in trying to maintain a relationship with my kids?” There are many reasons why you need to continue to fight for fair access to your children, and with vast experience of family law and divorce in Austin, we can help you to overcome the emotional turmoil and focus on building a loving relationship with your children post-divorce.
Focus On Your Kids’ Well-Being
Seeing parents separate is a very emotional time for children. They might not fully understand why their parents don’t want to be together anymore and could blame themselves. A dramatic shift in routine could lead them to feeling unstable and hurt that they can’t spend time with both parents together. It’s vital that you let them know they’re loved and cared for, so adopt a household schedule and routine quickly to help them feel secure during the time they spend with you.
Our Divorce Advice:
- If sharing child custody with your ex, try to keep calm whenever you come into contact with their mother. Don’t discuss your differences when your children are present. In these instances, communication with your ex is inevitable, so learn how to do it without emotions running high.
- Don’t be goaded by toxic messages from your ex. Keep all communications – whether face-to-face, over the phone, or by text message or email – neutral and simple.
- Work with your kids to fulfill the household chores that you wouldn’t usually have done. Not only will this help you to manage the extra responsibilities involved in being a single parent, but it’s also a great way to create a family routine which will make children feel part of a supportive team.
Remember That Your Kids Love You and Your Ex
The nature of your separation may have been messy, and you may feel resentment or anger towards your ex for their past or even current behavior. However, you must remember that your children will continue to love their other parent and it will only hurt them if you speak badly of them. Communicating neutrally and civilly to your ex is vital, but take care not to badmouth them when they’re not around, too, if there’s a risk your children might hear you. If your children notice that you can respect their other parent, they will respect you in return.
Our Divorce Advice:
- Find a healthy outlet for your emotions. Perhaps you have a close friend or family member you can confide in when things get a little overwhelming? Maybe you could work off your anger at the gym?
- Remind yourself that your children are half yours, half theirs. You will always have common ground with your partner, despite any past disputes and arguments, so focus on the good which came from your relationship – your kids.
- Ask your kids about their time with their mother. This is a great way to show your kids that they don’t have to avoid talking about your ex. Plus, it will help you to feel connected with them even when you’re not spending time with them.
Know That You Can Always Learn New Skills
If during your marriage you were less hands-on than your wife in terms of taking care of the kids, remember that it’s a learning curve and one you are capable of achieving. Perhaps your wife always cooked dinner or attended school meetings or set up play dates – you will soon be capable of doing the same. Your ex may not have faith in you to take on all the new responsibilities, but the only way you can prove her wrong is by having the confidence in yourself to learn.
Our Divorce Advice:
- Ask others for help. Why not have a family member show you some quick, simple recipes for dinner? If you’re faced with making decisions on behalf of your child and you’re unsure what’s right, consult a trusted friend. If you’re struggling to cope with work and family pressures, ask others to chip in.
- Don’t cave to pressure from your ex. Let’s say you want to take the kids away on vacation for a couple of weeks but your ex doesn’t think you’re capable. It might feel easier to relent to her objections, but by standing your ground you will show you have confidence in your abilities, which could increase her confidence in you in the future.
- Get feedback from your kids. The most important people in this whole situation are your kids, so communicate with them. Ask how you’re doing and what you could do to make their routine or home life better.
Contact Newberry Law For Advice
If you’re looking for an Austin Divorce Lawyer who will understand the struggles involved in child custody battles, please get in touch. For all your queries on divorce in Austin, Newberry Law is here to help.