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How to Avoid Being Labeled a “Deadbeat Dad”

Posted on in Child Custody and Visitation

dad's divorce and child custody attorneyWhen it comes to divorce, many dads worry that they face an uphill battle. Culturally, mothers are often considered to be the parents who are most concerned with childcare and household responsibilities. This means that even when a dad plays an equal role in raising his children, he may need to fight against the assumption the mother should have primary custody. To make matters worse, a father may worry that he will be considered a deadbeat due to his absence from his children’s lives.

Whether you are currently going through the divorce process or have completed your divorce, you’ll want to make sure that you can continue to be the father your children deserve. The last thing you want is for your children to feel that you are not there when they need you. To avoid the possibility of being considered a deadbeat dad, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Pay child support on time - The most common reason that dads are labeled deadbeats is that they don’t pay child support as required. Even if you think that it’s unfair that a large percentage of your income will be going to your ex, remember that the money is being used to provide for your kids’ needs. If you don’t pay child support on time or in full, you will still be required to pay the full amount owed, along with interest on late payments. Failure to pay child support could also cause you to be held in contempt of court, which could lead to a variety of consequences, including time in prison. If you have lost your job or experienced other financial issues that affect your ability to pay, you’ll want to bring this matter to the court’s attention immediately to ensure that you won’t be penalized.

  • Be there during your parenting time - Consistency is important for children, and they need to know what to expect when following the schedule for when they will be with you or their mom. You’ll want to make sure you’re always on time when picking up your kids, and let your ex know if you’ll be late or if something comes up that will require you to reschedule. You can also get the most out of your parenting time by having fun with your kids and doing activities that they enjoy. When both you and your kids look forward to spending time together, you can be sure that you will be able to continue to play a key parental role while they are growing up.

  • Be involved in your kids’ lives - Even when your kids aren’t with you, you’ll want to stay informed about what is going on with them. Make a point to attend parent-teacher conferences and doctor appointments so you can keep up with their educational and medical needs. Don’t miss out on activities like sports games or school band concerts, and make sure you know what’s going on in their lives. If you’re there for your kids both during your parenting time and at other important events, nobody will be able to question your dedication as a father.

Get Help From a Family Law Attorney

Even if you do everything you can to provide for your children and be the dad they deserve, you may still encounter conflicts with your ex, or you may need to update your parenting agreement based on changes in your or your kids’ lives. In these cases, you’ll want to work with a divorce lawyer who can explain your rights and options and provide you with representation if you need to go to court. By addressing legal issues correctly, you can make sure you have the tools to continue being a great parent in the years to come.

 

Sources:

https://www.verywellfamily.com/deadbeat-parents-and-help-for-affected-families-2997665

https://www.fatherly.com/love-money/deadbeat-dad-the-myth-and-reality-of-americas-feckless-fathers/

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