Tips for dads about to divorce – Before divorce

divorce as a dad

Tips for dads about to go through a Divorce. – This is the first in a series of blog posts to help dads get through a divorce, starting from the very beginning.

Why are more divorces initiated by women than men?

Women are more likely than men to utter the words, “I want a divorce”. However, women and men are equally likely to initiate a non-marital breakup, according to a new study.  So why are women more likely to end a marriage?

Research has shown that women are less satisfied by marriage than men.  This may be that women have a higher expectation of marriage, and then become dissatisfied.

But something for men to think about before their wife hits them with the divorce papers is the happiness of their partner.  Women want more than the occasional offer to wash-up to make their day better.

That said, with more women now earning similar or more than men, the expectations on marriage have changed from 40-50 years ago.  The days of women staying at home, cooking the evening meal for their husband are long gone.  But have attitudes progressed?  Women’s equal rights have come a long way, insofar that they may even be seen to have overtaken the rights of men.  Although punished for his comments, Cern scientist Alessandro Strumia, said that women are being favoured over men in the scientific world.  Women are now more powerful than ever before and are taking control of their lives rather than depending on a husband.

So to keep a marriage working well, mutual respect is essential as well as communication.  Don’t take your wife for granted, as she will soon start questioning the marriage.  Having said that, it doesn’t mean rolling over and let your wife walk over you.  Consideration needs to work both ways.

The benefits system favours mothers.  Mothers are still considered the main caregiver after divorce.  Families on low incomes suffer the most.  Any benefit that was once received by both parents is now passed to just the mother.  The father is also expected to contribute maintenance.

Often divorce is inevitable

If you haven’t been able to avoid the breakdown of your marriage. There are some things you need to do, to ensure you receive fair treatment.

One of the biggest mistakes that men make during the divorce process is to move out of the marital residence. While this may seem the only option if going through a contentious divorce, it may put you at a disadvantage later in the divorce process.  First of all, you need to consider how you can afford to continue covering the mortgage and bills of the family home even though you are no longer living there. Having two sets of bills is often not a feasible financial option, particularly since a divorce often takes more than a year. Your daily access to your children will be reduced considerably.  This can be extremely painful and possibly detrimental to your relationship with them.  A separation agreement may be exactly what you need until the divorce is finalised.

If you believe your marriage is ok and not even thinking the marriage has broken breakdown, it comes as a massive shock to it said or worse, receive the divorce papers. you had no idea your wife had taken legal advice before mentioning this divorce word to you. Remember, solicitors, are better remunerated when there is antagonism in the divorce.  They can often try to create issues between you and your partner to increase the work needed to come to a solution.

If possible, ask for time to digest what you have just heard or read, it is better to discuss the ending of your marriage amicably to prevent animosity and anger on either side.  Avoiding anger will be good for the children, who will also be in shock. Tips for how to break the news to your children can be found on this blog.

Prepare for divorce

Firstly, remember, whatever your feelings to your partner, when there are children involved, that person will be part of your life for a long time.

  • Keep calm when communicating with your partner
  • Don’t communicate through the children
  • Work on creating a parenting plan
  • Keep to your word and expect the same from your spouse

As a dad, you have as much right to be part of your child’s life as their mum, so don’t settle for second best.  So many dads feel they need to work more to provide extra for their children, and as a result, have less time with the children. Children won’t remember the things you buy them but will remember the times you have together.  Continuing to build on the relationship with your children is essential to avoid becoming a distant dad.

Current Legislation

Under current legislation, the most common reason for divorce is unreasonable behaviour.  The petitioner needs to cite 5 reasons for this unreasonable behaviour.  This can be quite upsetting to hear accusations why you failed in the marriage.  We all know there are 2 sides to any story, so it hurts to see the reasons why you caused the marriage to break down.  Until no-fault divorce becomes a reality, we have to accept that blame is the most likely reason for divorce.  Some of the bad feelings can be avoided if a couple can agree on the reasons for divorce.  It lessens the pain when you see it in writing. Speak to us about this, we have helped hundreds possibly thousands of couples get over this problem.

If, you don’t get to talk over the reasons, try not to get upset over them.  Only you, your spouse and the judge see the reasons cited, they are never made public.  There must be 5 reasons for the court to accept the petition.  Some of these may seem far-fetched, but arguing about them won’t be of any benefit to you.  Not accepting the divorce petition will prolong the pain and cause greater expense to something that will inevitably happen anyway.

Personality changes

You may see a massive change in your wife.  Once fuelled by hateful friends and a solicitor, you can expect a massive change in character from the woman you fell in love with.  So you need to protect yourself, whilst also protecting your children.  You don’t need to follow down the same route, rise above it.  Keep to your word and keep to all the arrangements.

Emotional Help

Divorce is very upsetting, and dads still seem to get the raw end of the deal. A few bad dads seem to set the standard for all dads.  This is not the case, the majority of dads want to continue a close relationship with their children.   To avoid depression, talking things through with a friend/relative or professional who will not antagonise the situation further will help you get through a very difficult time.

Physical Health

Despite the turmoil, try to keep yourself well by eating well and keeping physically fit.  Try to avoid drinking too much alcohol.  Many fathers neglect their physical health and begin a downward spiral becoming depressed and isolated. If it is your weekend with the children, take them to the gym with you, they are often welcomed and like working out with Dad.

Keep Records

If you feel things might get difficult communicating with your wife, it is a good idea to keep records of every arrangement and communication you have.  If you have a record (email or text message), you can refer back to it.  This can avoid confusion to what was said. It may be that what you said could be easily misunderstood, so you may want to clarify the message.

Whatever the reason for the marriage breakdown, there are 3 versions of any breakdown, his, hers and the truth.   Be the better person and rise above the petty arguments.

For further help, contact us on 0880 177 7702 or contact us

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Tips for dads about to divorce – Before divorce was last modified: November 1st, 2018 by John Fuller
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