Divorce happens. But that doesn’t mean you should ever stop being a father to your children. If you’re in the midst of a marital separation and have legal questions about divorce or parental rights for fathers, you’re not alone. Here are a few key bits of family law advice that you should heed before you take any drastic measures.
- Try to be civil. Of course, divorces are the result of a marriage that isn’t working out, but you should still try to remain courteous with your former spouse, if only for the sake of your children. If you can’t even talk to one another, a court-prescribed plan for spousal or child support often turns out to be inflexible, impersonal, and unsuited to your needs. A more collaborative approach will likely result in a plan that creatively addresses your circumstances.
- Talk with a family court lawyer before you move out. Your living situation may impact your child custody rights, so get sound family law advice — perhaps from a couple of different sources — before you move out. If your home living arrangements are very bad, a lawyer can also help set you up with a third-party mediator for alternative dispute resolution to help you and your spouse sort out matters regarding property division, child care, and other matters.
- Find yourself the emotional support you need. Don’t play the tough guy and act like the divorce doesn’t affect you. Some studies have shown that men are eight times more likely to commit suicide after a divorce, and twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack or clinical depression. Remember that you’re not alone, and that there are ways you can reach out for support.
No one ever said marriage would be easy, and with children involved in the mix, you can never truly know what to expect in a divorce. Every situation is unique and should be handled as such. Find a lawyer who is compassionate and understanding, while still delivering the best legal aid possible to give you the closure you seek.