As a divorced father, you may have to split your retirement account with your wife, let her keep the house, and pay child support. Despite the fact that these are not easy, perhaps the hardest part will be no longer living with your kids, or not seeing them every single day.
In order to be a successful divorced dad – you’ll need to maintain a good relationship with your children, regardless of how you feel about their mother. This isn’t always an easy task, especially if your ex begins dating again and finds someone “special.”
While each divorce is different, there are some basic principles that apply to all divorces involving children. Here is some advice to help you succeed after divorce as a single dad:
Learn how divorce affects children.
Everyone knows that divorce is painful on both spouses, but it affects children too. Be considerate of your children’s feelings and if you don’t understand what they’re going through, you can seek out expert advice or read books on the subject. The more you understand, the better position you’ll be in to navigate your children through this big transition.
Stay near your children after the divorce.
You may be very tempted to relocate for an amazing job opportunity, but it may not be worth it. One of the best ways to remain emotionally close to your children after a divorce is to stay physically close to home. Staying close may involve sacrifice on your part, but it can be vital to maintain the “connection” your children desperately need.
Understand your obligations about child support.
Many newly-divorced fathers don’t understand their full obligations in regards to child support. For example, non-custodial fathers have to pay child support even if they’re unemployed. They also have to pay child support if their ex refuses to let them see their children. If a father does not pay child support, there are many consequences, such as license suspension, wage garnishment, passport denial, tax refund intercept and much more. Hire a divorce attorney and find out everything you need to know about child support.
Stay connected if you have to relocate.
If you have to live far away from the kids because of your job or military deployment, it can be hard to stay connected to the kids, but technology can certainly help. If you are separated by miles or even an ocean, take advantage of modern technology like Skype, FaceTime (Apple), and Facebook video calls, all of which make staying connected easier than ever.
Practice mindful dating.
As a single father, you may be excited to jump back into the dating game, or you may be nervous about it, especially if you haven’t been single in years. “Do I create an online dating profile? Should I ask friends to set me up? Should I join a gym to meet women?”
Eventually, you’ll get into a rhythm; however, dating as a divorced dad is not the same as it was before you had kids. Essentially, don’t lie about being a father and don’t mislead women about it. When you do begin dating again, consider not introducing your “dates” to the kids until after you’re in a committed relationship. Some experts suggest waiting until you’ve been dating for six months. Of course, you have to feel out the situation.
If you’re interested in having a cheap, no-fault divorce, contact our firm to speak with a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer for free!