Divorce is a highly emotional experience for anyone, but for a father it can be an even more devastating event.
Here are five tips to help you survive divorce, maintain your equilibrium and keep your status as a caring father intact.
1. Maintain good behavior
Keep the welfare of your children uppermost in your mind. Never be the aggressor as you head for divorce. Either stay away from alcohol and drugs altogether or moderate your intake, avoid confrontations with your spouse and in all things, maintain a high standard of responsibility, especially in dealing with or about your children. When the time comes to discuss custody and co-parenting arrangements, the good behavior you exhibit will reinforce your standing as a good father.
2. Stay well
Depression and anxiety come easily when a marriage breaks up. Maintaining good health with exercise, sufficient rest and a proper diet will go a long way toward helping you develop a more positive outlook. Remember that your children will depend on your strength, wisdom and continuing love. Set a good example for them.
3. Continue communicating
Continue to communicate often and in many different ways with your children. Help them with homework, attend their games and recitals, and use the phone, email and texting to stay in touch. Keep your interactions as positive as possible, and never talk about their mother in a negative fashion.
4. Keep records
Start a journal in which you record what is said and done during the divorce process. Keep careful notes about your expenses, as well as the amounts of money you give to your soon-to-be-ex and the children. Jot down any negative comments your spouse makes to you. If you have a joint bank account, make copies to show any large withdrawals your spouse makes.
5. Prepare for unexpected twists
No divorce goes smoothly a hundred percent of the time, so prepare for the unexpected. You may think your only option is a traditional and possibly contentious divorce but consider your future and that of your children. If you think a settlement outside of court is possible, discuss the idea with the other parent. An amicable divorce is less stressful for everyone, especially the children, and sets the stage for a future that is happier for everyone in the family.