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divorced dad child custody lawyerIf you are a father who is going through a divorce, or if you are unmarried and separated from your children’s other parent, issues related to the custody of your children are likely to be at the top of your mind. In our modern culture, dads are more and more likely to be closely involved in raising their kids, and in some cases, fathers may even act as stay-at-home parents or be the one who is most involved in caring for their children and meeting their needs. If this is true in your situation, or if you believe that restrictions should apply to child custody to protect your children, you may be wondering whether it will be possible for you to be granted sole custody of your kids.

When Is Sole Custody Appropriate?

While the specific laws that apply to child custody vary from state to state, most of the time, courts prefer for both parents to be closely involved in raising their children. Because of this, parents will usually share joint custody. In cases involving joint legal custody, parents will share the responsibility of making decisions about how the children will be raised. In cases involving joint physical custody, children will spend parenting time with each parent.

If the court does choose to award sole custody to one parent, it will usually be for one of the following reasons:

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dad's divorce law domestic violenceIf you are a devoted father, there are few things worse than being accused of committing violence or abuse against your spouse or children. In some cases, these types of claims can arise out of misunderstandings or arguments that get out of control, but sadly, there are many situations when a spouse or a current or former partner accuses a father of domestic violence in an attempt to gain an advantage in a child custody dispute. If you are facing accusations of domestic violence or abuse, you will want to do the following:

Follow the Court’s Orders

If your children’s other parent has obtained an emergency restraining order or order of protection against you, it is important to follow all of the requirements and restrictions in the order. Even if the order was based on false accusations, you will be required to follow all of its terms while it is in effect. Even though it may be difficult, you may need to move out of your home temporarily, and you may be unable to see or communicate with your children until these matters are resolved. If you violate a protective order, you could face criminal charges, as well as additional restrictions that affect your parental rights.

Gather Evidence to Support Your Side of the Story

As you prepare to defend yourself against accusations that you have committed domestic violence or abuse, you’ll want to gather as much evidence as possible to explain what actually happened and show that you are not a danger to your children. You may be able to provide an alibi to show that you were not present at the date and time the abuse allegedly occurred, or copies of communication with your children’s other parent may show that they have behaved unreasonably in the past. If necessary, you can provide records related to treatment for mental health or substance abuse issues, and you can obtain statements from friends or family members regarding your character and fitness as a parent. If child protective services are looking into claims of abuse, you will want to cooperate with them, provide any information they request, and follow their recommendations.

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single dad child support lawIn many divorce cases where a couple has children, it is assumed that the father will pay child support to the mother. However, this isn’t always the case. In many modern families, dads and moms play equal roles in caring for their kids, and they should continue to do so after they become separated or get divorced. Depending on the circumstances, some dads may even be named the custodial parent of their children and have the majority of the parenting time with their kids after getting divorced or breaking up with an unmarried partner. In these types of situations, dads will need to be sure to understand their rights regarding child support.

Child Support for Dads Who Have Primary Physical Custody or Shared Custody

The purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents contribute toward their children’s needs. Typically, the parent who the children live with the majority of the time will receive child support from the other parent. This means that if your children stay with you most of the time, you may have the right to receive child support from your ex-spouse. Even if you were not married to your children’s mother, both of you will be required to provide financial support for your children, and as the custodial parent, you can ask a family court judge to enforce these obligations.

Depending on the state where you live, different methods may be used to calculate the amount of child support you can receive from your child’s mother. Some states determine child support using a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. However, many states are shifting to an income-sharing model that takes the amount earned by both parents into account. In these cases, an amount of child support will usually be determined based on what both parents would have spent to care for their children if they were still together. This amount will usually be divided between the parents based on the amount of income each parent earns. If you are the custodial parent, your ex will be required to pay her portion of the total child support amount to you.

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divorced dad dating with kidsIf you are a dad who has gone through a divorce or is currently in the middle of the divorce process, you may still be working to pick up the pieces and determine how to move forward with your life. At some point, you’re probably going to be ready to start dating again. While finding a new partner and building a relationship can be a positive development in your life, it can also add some additional complications. One of the largest concerns you will face is when you can introduce your new partner to your kids. This can be a tricky situation to handle, and by approaching it the right way, you can help your children adjust to the changes in their lives while ensuring that you can maintain a positive relationship with them in the years to come.

Choosing the Right Time for an Introduction

After you begin a new relationship, you’ll probably want to spend as much time with your new partner as possible, and you may be looking to include them in all the parts of your life that are important to you, including your parenting time with your children. However, you don’t want to rush things, and it’s often best to ease yourself, your kids, and your partner into these changes.

Before telling your kids that you’re dating or making plans to have them meet your partner, you’ll want to make sure that this is a relationship that will last. You should probably be dating for at least a few months before you consider having your kids meet your partner, and you should make sure you both understand that the relationship is serious and exclusive. The two of you should discuss your plans and desires for your relationship, and you should both be ready to take the next step and begin building new relationships with your kids. Depending on your relationship with your ex, you may also want to inform them that you will be introducing a new person into your kids’ lives, which can help avoid conflict or other parenting issues in the future.

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child and spousal support divorced dads lawIf you are a father who is going through the divorce process, you’ll probably be concerned about your finances. In addition to dealing with the costs of the divorce itself, including legal fees and expenses related to finding new living arrangements, you’re going to need to create a new budget to determine how you can cover your ongoing expenses. In the midst of all of this, you may also have to deal with requirements to pay child support or spousal support, and you’ll want to understand when these types of payments are appropriate and how they are calculated.

The Purpose of Financial Support

Being required to pay support to your ex-spouse may seem like a punishment or penalty. However, this is usually not the reason that financial support is ordered. Instead, these payments are meant to ensure that you, your ex, and your children will all have the financial resources you need. 

Child support is paid for the benefit of children, ensuring that they will be provided for after their parents’ divorce. Each state has different laws that specify how child support obligations are calculated, but the amount of payments is usually based on the income that each parent earns, as well as the amount of parenting time children spend with each parent. While the parent who has more parenting time will usually receive child support from the other, this is not always the case. If you earn less than your ex, she could be required to pay child support to you, depending on the methods used to calculate child support in your state.

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parenting agreement divorce order enforcement lawyerGetting through the divorce process definitely isn’t easy, but once you’ve signed the final divorce papers, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief and be ready to move on to better things. Unfortunately, if you’re a parent, the end of your divorce may not be the end of the problems with your former partner. Since the two of you will need to maintain contact and work together as co-parents to your kids, you may encounter new disagreements regarding parenting issues. If these disputes involve your ex’s refusal to follow the terms of your parenting agreement, you may be unsure of how to proceed, but you should know that you can take steps to enforce the terms of your divorce decree.

Options for Post-Divorce Enforcement

Before taking any drastic action, you may want to contact your ex-spouse to discuss your concerns. In some cases, a violation of your parenting agreement may have occurred because of a misunderstanding or miscommunication, and you may be able to work things out between the two of you and avoid these types of problems in the future. If either of you believes that modifications to your parenting plan are necessary, you may be able to use mediation to come to an agreement regarding changes to issues such as child custody or parenting time.

If, however, your ex has violated your parenting agreement on purpose, attempts to reach a peaceful resolution to the situation may not be helpful. Your ex may be committing parental alienation by trying to limit your time with your children, or acting out of spite and attempting to make your life as difficult as possible. In these cases, you may need to take legal action and ask the court to require your ex to comply with your parenting plan. If you can show that your ex purposely tried to interfere with your parenting time, you may be able to make the case for consequences including parenting time restrictions. Repeated violations could result in your ex being held in contempt of court, which could result in penalties such as fines or even time in prison.

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Mental health tips for divorced dads“Challenging” doesn’t even begin to describe the past several months for millions of households across the country. If you have recently gone through a divorce, that alone can do a number on your mental health. Add in all of the changes and difficulties brought about by COVID-19, and you might be dealing with overwhelming amounts of stress, anxiety, fear, depression, and other issues. The following tips can help divorced fathers foster their mental health as they navigate the challenges of this difficult time.

Look into Your Options

Obtaining mental health services can make a big difference in difficult times.

  • Read the details of your insurance plan to see whether therapy, counseling, and other services are covered.
  • If you have Medicare, review your policy to see what is covered; for example, Medicare Part B covers a range of mental health services.
  • If you currently have no health insurance, see if any local colleges, clinics, or other institutions are providing free services.

Boost Your Physical Health

The state of your physical health plays a major role in your mental health and overall well-being.

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Dad's DivorceGetting a divorce is never easy, but it can be especially difficult in cases where spouses are argumentative, hostile, or unable to cooperate with each other. If your spouse is a narcissist, or if you need to deal with high-conflict situations involving your children, your property, or other divorce-related issues, you will want to understand what you can do to protect your rights and reach a satisfactory outcome to your case. Some steps you can take to achieve success in your divorce include:

  • Set boundaries - During your divorce, you’ll want to focus on resolving legal issues rather than arguing about why your marriage ended or who was to blame. To make sure your spouse doesn’t drag you into emotional arguments, be clear with her about what topics you’re willing to discuss, and don’t be afraid to end a conversation that is getting heated. By keeping things as professional as possible, you can work on reaching a workable divorce settlement that will meet your needs and protect your children’s best interests.
  • Keep documentation - If your spouse has lied to you about any issues in your divorce, changed her mind after making agreements, or acted in an abusive or harassing manner, you’ll want to preserve any evidence of this behavior. Make sure to save any emails or text messages you have sent to each other, as well as any other evidence showing that your spouse has behaved unreasonably or inappropriately. If necessary, this documentation may be used as evidence during divorce litigation.
  • Avoid involving your children in your disputes - You should do everything you can to avoid exposing your children to conflict between you and your spouse, including refraining from making negative comments about the other parent in front of them or asking them to send messages between the two of you. In a high-conflict situation, you may need to make arrangements to protect your children’s best interests, such as picking them up and dropping them off in a public place or setting rules for phone calls or electronic communication.
  • Take a break from social media - Even though you may be tempted to complain about your spouse or your divorce on Facebook or Twitter, it is best to avoid doing so while your case is ongoing. Disparaging comments about your spouse could be taken out of context or used to argue that you aren’t willing to work together to protect your kids’ best interests. Other information you share could also be used against you during the divorce process, so it’s often a good idea to avoid social networks altogether until your divorce is over.
  • Get legal help - The best way to make sure your rights are protected is to work with an experienced divorce attorney. Your lawyer can help you understand the best ways to address your legal issues while advocating for your interests in court hearings. They can also help you take the right steps to demonstrate that you can provide for your children’s best interests as you determine how to handle child custody matters going forward.

 

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Dad's divorce law2020 is not an easy time to be a parent. This is especially true for divorced or divorcing fathers. Whether you have lost your job or suffered financial setbacks, are working from home, or need to maintain regular contact with the public, you may be struggling with the ever-present health risks and uncertainty about the future. Issues related to your children can add to your stress, and you may worry about your kids’ safety if they are attending school in person, or you may be concerned about your ability to provide the help they need if they are learning at home.

As you deal with these ongoing issues, it is important to understand that you are not alone. Parents throughout the United States are currently struggling to help meet their children’s educational needs. Surveys have shown that more than half of parents are managing children’s remote learning activities while also working either inside or outside the home. It is understandable for parents to feel uncertain about their ability to help their children with ongoing schoolwork, and taking on these responsibilities in addition to their regular jobs and household duties can lead to a great deal of stress.

As you work to balance your children’s needs with your own mental health and other concerns, you will want to understand how you can deal with stress and make the best of a difficult situation. Here are some tips for how you can take care of yourself and continue being the best dad you can be:

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