Saturday, April 24, 2010

10 tips for fathers going through a divorce

#9 – Put the new romance on the back burner

One of the most common things that turns a normal (read: inexpensive) divorce into an contentious (read: expensive) one is bringing another woman into the situation. Your current wife is already pissed off, so why may it worse by throwing your new, yoga-teaching girlfriend in her face? She might get so upset that she keeps you from your children. Is it right? No. Will it happen? You bet.

There is only so much your attorney can do to calm down the situation once you have inflamed it. Your parents are in town, and they would love to see their grandkids, but it’s not your parenting time. How likely is it that your ex will be nice and switch times with you if you brought new girlfriend to pick up the children one week after you separate. Be smart. The best decision is to wait until the divorce is concluded before you engage in a new relationship. Or, at the very least, be discreet.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

10 tips for fathers going through a divorce

This is the 1st part of a ten-week series giving fathers advice on how to best manage their divorce cases.

Tip #10. Get a memory

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~From the television show The Wonder Years

I can't tell you how many men who are in my office for divorce consultations who look like a deer caught in headlights when I ask them their date of marriage or their children's birthdates. At the risk of stereotyping, women tend to be much better at knowing this information off the top of their heads. They know their children's birthdays, their social security numbers, teacher's names, principal's name, daycare worker's name, the pediatrician's get the point.

Men, for some reason tend not to know this information. Referring to your son's teacher as "the cute blonde" will not win you any points in court. How do you expect to win primary or joint custody if you do not learn and retain this valuable information? Do you know your child's favorite toy, or did you always let your wife pack the to go bag? Do you know your children's favorite foods or the only way to stop your 2 year old from crying incessantly in the car is to give her Apple Cinnamon Cheerios?  An involved dad knows these things.

Keep a journal if you have to of important dates, events and tidbits about your children. This will help you refresh your recollection later if you have to testify in court.