What are the three biggest mistakes newly separated/divorced dads make?

Submitted By Arthur J:

Isolation.

“Go it alone” and “tough it out” is how most men are taught to deal with personal disaster. Don’t. Instead of isolating yourself in your apartment, talk with other divorced dads and learn from their experiences. They have a lot to share and are anxious to do so. You don’t need to join a group or go to a male bonding weekend retreat but you may profit from making contact with other divorced fathers who have experienced some of the difficulties you are facing. If you don’t know any divorced dads, the Internet has many web sites just like this one that can put you in touch with other divorced dads.

Overlooking the Mediation Option.

Dealing with separation and divorce through adversarial litigation includes hiring attorneys to engage in combative, legal warfare with your ex-partner and her attorney. Litigation may be the best course of action to take in certain cases such as when one partner refuses to mediate.

However, mediation should at least be considered as an option. Mediation involves the divorcing husband and wife meeting with a neutral third party (the mediator) to negotiate issues related to child custody, visitation, spousal support, and division of assets. (Some mediators may deal only with divorce issues related to parenting and do not work with money or property issues). Mediated divorces typically cost considerably less and settlements occur significantly faster than litigated divorces. More importantly, because mediation emphasizes cooperation, fairness, and consideration of everyone’s needs, you are most likely to maintain a civil co-parenting relationship with your former spouse if you mediate. Since you may need to discuss parenting issues for years to come, do everything possible to keep the lines of communication open between you and your ex.

Giving Up.

Some divorced fathers become so overwhelmed with feelings of rejection and being replaced by a step father that they abandon their children. “They will be better off without me,” one father said. No, they won’t. Your children have only one father and it is your responsibility to stay connected to them in spite of the divorce.

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