When you're getting a divorce – which is one of the toughest things you'll ever face – you need on-point advice that helps you through it. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of divorce advice for fathers out there, which means you're left to figure things out on your own.
And when you have to figure things out on your own, each day seems a lot harder. You might not know what you're doing is harming your case, or that you're making it harder on yourself than you need to.
That's why we're here. We have plenty of divorce advice for fathers you can put into action right now to make this process as painless as possible. Check out these tips, which are designed to help you make it through your divorce and come out the other side with your sanity (and your relationship with your kids) intact:
- Budget and plan
- Don't try to outspend your wife in legal fees
- Don't use your kids as messengers
- Make your kids the priority
- Pay your support on time
Budget and Plan
A lot of dads suddenly find themselves tasked with paying child support and alimony on top of regular living expenses for themselves. You show up in court and leave with orders that require you to pay a substantial amount of your paycheck – but your attorney can fight to ensure you pay a fair amount as long as you provide him with a good overview of your financial picture.
Bring your attorney financial statements so he understands how much you bring in each month; he can use that information to combat what your ex is asking for – particularly if she's asking for alimony – or if she exaggerates how much money you make when she's asking for support.
You can also set up a budget that includes the amount your lawyer tells you you'll have to pay in child support. That way, you're not coming up short on your other obligations because you're not prepared to pay these new expenses.
Don't Try to Outspend Your Ex-Spouse
It can be tempting to drag your ex through court, particularly if you feel that it's her fault you're divorcing. When you extend the process, though, you're costing yourself money in legal fees – and you're putting a huge emotional tax on yourself, too. The best thing you can do is to get your divorce over with as quickly as possible. That way, you can begin moving forward without being caught in an endless quagmire of bickering and court dates.
Don't Use Your Kids as Messengers
One mistake a lot of parents make – not just fathers – is to use kids as messengers between them and the other parent. Even something as simple as “Ask your mother if she's picking you up at 5 on Sunday” can put the kids in uncomfortable territory, and because your divorce is between you and your ex (not you and your kids), you need to work hard to keep it that way. Likewise, if your kids come to you and say that mom asked them to check with you about something, let them know that they don't need to worry about things like that – and then text, call or email your ex to provide her with an answer. If you don't think it'll start a fight, you can mention that it's okay for her to come to you with questions rather than involving the kids.
Make Your Kids Your Priority
Your kids need you now more than they ever have before – and they need you to fight to spend time with them. They definitely need both parents in their lives, and seeing their father only infrequently (Wednesdays and every other weekend, for example) may not be enough for any of you. It's important that you have frequent and regular contact with your little ones (even if they're not so little), and it's okay to fight for it if you have to. Your divorce attorneys will help you negotiate with your ex to reach a child custody agreement that's best for your children.
Pay Your Support On Time, Every Time
If you can't make your child support or alimony payments, you need to let your attorney know. He might be able to file a petition on your behalf with the court to lower your support amount. The worst thing you can do, though, is not let anyone know and simply stop paying. You'll end up paying it later anyway, and you could even be fined or sentenced to jail time.
Do You Need to Talk to a Divorce Attorney?
If you're a dad going through a divorce, whether you're still in the early stages of considering it or your spouse has already filed, we can help you. While this post contains a wide range of divorce advice for fathers, we can provide you with case-specific advice you can start using today.
Call us at 704-470-2440 right now for a consultation with a divorce attorney. We'll discuss your situation and begin building a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.