Divorces that involve children can become messy and complicated. True, it is impossible to be a “perfect” parent, yet dads need to be aware of some big mistakes to avoid. Striving to be the best parent possible as well as showing others your capabilities produces a strong picture for courts and evaluators involved in custody decisions.
One obvious mistake Dads make is to not keep up on their relationship with their child. It can be a challenge in some instances to make things work with the other parent. Other obstacles can include distance and time commitments. Do whatever it takes to keep your relationship a string one!
A second mistake that dads make is to not stay involved in the day to day lives of their children. Fathers need to know who their children’s friends are. They need to be able to communicate with their child’s teacher. Both parents need to know who to contact in a medical emergency and who the primary physician is.
Thirdly, do what the court or attorney asks. If the family is going through an evaluation it is very important to be available and cooperative. Information requests must be answered as soon as possible.
Fourth, do not balk at the idea of therapy. Sessions that are requested through an evaluator are very important. These sessions, often play dates, show the evaluator how the child and parent interact with one another.
Fifth, do not lie. The truth is so much easier to remember! Evading an issue or telling a flat out falsehood is bound to come back in an unpleasant way. Sometimes fathers are tempted to not reveal their true financial situation in order to keep child support expenses lower. Not a good idea. No one appreciates being lied to and a judge is no exception.
Bad behavior is the sixth mistake to avoid. Although a divorce and a custody dispute are emotional times to pass through, temper tantrums are not helpful. Remember, as parents are in the heat of an argument there may be witnesses, recordings, and who knows what else that could resurface later on. Put on your best behavior and it will pay off down the road.
Another mistake to avoid, number seven, is not being aggressive enough when it is necessary. It is possible to get a biased evaluator or judge. Speak up! There is nothing to lose by expressing concerns to legal counsel and working to resolve the situation.
Along the same lines do not make the mistake of letting a bad situation go on. If there is a temporary order that needs to be changes or fought, go for it! If there is a problem getting information about the child, take care of it. Do not let a small issue become a large problem.
Number nine, do everything possible to establish a good working relationship with the mother of the child. This may take time and a lot of work but the dividends will be worth it in the long run. Life will be easier for the child and both parents.
Confrontation, avoid it at all costs. Although it may be a mild statement to say that the other parent is not the easiest person to work with remember to pack your patience. Allowing a fight to escalate is bound to come back and fathers are often painted as the bad guy. Just do not go there!