The separation of couples, or divorce, is never easy to handle. It affects both couples, the children, and the extended families of both sides. An amicable separation would have the ex-partners working on co-parenting their children to both be present in their lives. Still, when the custody goes to the mother, you’d want to know what your rights are and what to do to keep yourself from taking actions that can be used against you by your former spouse.
- You and the mother have equal rights to claim custody of the children.
The court has no preferential treatment over the other, which means that the father can file a petition to have custody of the child or children during the divorce process. It can also be on a separate course of action. Assert fathers rights every step of the way so you’ll still get to see your children.
- Your time with your children is an equal right you must fight to defend.
Don’t give up your schedule for something trivial because you may never get the chance to revisit them. If your former spouse denies you your time with the little ones, record the dates and reasons why. If the reason is that the kids have an activity to go to, offer to bring them to that place. Track how much child support you give and when you’re giving it as well.
- The children must remain innocent.
Avoid discussing your marital disputes with the children if you wish to be on good terms with the one who got custody. Co-parenting in peace is the best way to be in your child’s or children’s life. You can talk about the changes in schedules, but keep your resentments about your ex-partner to yourself.
- If you have a message to convey, talk to your former wife in private, or call or email her instead.
Do not use the children as messengers just to put them in the center of the conflict out of spite. Remember that it can be used against you by your former partner to deny you your visitation rights. Keep in contact with your lawyer should a problem arise with your former wife denying you visitation rights during the divorce.
- You can petition to have legal custody of the child or children if you think there are specific changes made to compromise their safety and best interest.
A mother could develop a dangerous drug habit or be in a relationship with someone previously arrested for criminal charges such as domestic violence that could endanger the children. With solid proof, the court may consider overturning the previous decision.
- The process of the divorce and its aftermath are stressful to everyone involved.
If you feel the need to vent, you can seek a counselor or a therapist to talk about your emotions. Your mental health can put you at risk should you choose to partake in unhealthy coping ways such as drinking. It’s better to seek professional help to keep yourself out of trouble.
- While separation can be devastating, put your energy to good use by showing the child your love and support.
Attend their school and sporting events, especially their birthdays. Also, keep your finances in check so you’ll always have enough for child support and yourself. Remember that your children will suffer the most if you remove yourself from their lives in the middle of it all.
- Do your best to stay in the family home even while in the middle of a divorce.
Leaving and settling in another location can put you in a bad position, especially if the mother wants legal custody. Keep in mind that you also have every right to your children, especially when your record is clean and only your relationship with your spouse is deteriorating. Leaving home gives your wife the upper hand and may insinuate that you have no interest in the children anymore.
As the father of your children, you still have to love and protect them. That’s why even if you and your wife are separating, it’s essential to stay on good behavior and to keep yourself active in the lives of your children. Young children can be vulnerable and impressionable. Any hostile acts they witness can affect how they perceive their home life that they may bring into adulthood. No matter how hard it is, how you act out is all on you.