Divorce Tips for Dads
Glen Ellyn Family Law Attorneys
If you are a father whose marriage is headed toward divorce, you are probably concerned about how the divorce will affect your relationship with your children. Many fathers in this position fret that their wives will be awarded full or substantially more custodial time with the children and that they will spend the remainder of their children's childhoods as a part-time parent who the kids visit and from whom their mother receives child support.
If the scenario above is playing out in your head, rest assured that some of these issues are no longer present in Illinois divorces. For one, the notions of child custody and visitation are no longer part of the vocabulary surrounding divorce. They have been replaced with parenting time and parenting responsibilities in order to ensure that both parents have substantial roles in raising their children. The court is not permitted to make its rulings about parenting time and parenting responsibilities based on gender, but instead based on factors such as the child's relationship with each parent, each parent's income level, the household in which each parent resides, and either parent's history with the court. Despite these requirements, it is crucial to work with an experienced divorce attorney who can advocate for your rights and interests as a father. Keep the following in mind as you work through the divorce process and discuss these issues at length with your attorney so you have a full understanding of all that you are facing.
You Have Rights as a Father
You have as much of a right to your children as your partner has. Keep this in mind and do not feel like you cannot “fight” for a sufficient share of parenting time with them. Be involved in custody evaluations and be willing to discuss your goals and desires regarding your parenting time arrangement during all meetings with your attorney. You also have the right to seek child support to cover the expenses that come with raising your children, such as the need for more food, a larger home, and the children's personal needs like clothing and school supplies.
Spousal Maintenance Can be Complicated
Whether your former spouse seeks spousal maintenance from you after the divorce or you are seeking it yourself, remember that spousal maintenance agreements have their own set of rules regarding their taxation, when they end, and the circumstances that void them. Familiarize yourself with Illinois' laws regarding spousal maintenance before you negotiate this portion of your divorce settlement with your spouse.
Acknowledge your Emotions, but Stay Strong for your Children
Men are often portrayed as stoic and unwavering even in emotionally-charged situations. Putting on this face can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. Do not feel ashamed or weak for seeking comfort in journaling, venting about your divorce to friends or loved ones, or seeking professional counseling. What you should not do, however, is burden your children with your negative emotions. Never talk badly about their mother or the divorce process to your children. Although you can and should acknowledge that you are feeling sad or frustrated, model healthy ways of expressing these emotions to your children and acknowledge that they are feeling new, sometimes unpleasant, emotions as well.
Pave the Way for a Nurturing, Healthy Future
During the divorce process, you lay the groundwork for your future relationship with your children and your former spouse. Now is the time to cooperate with the court's orders, remain actively engaged in your children's lives, and be willing to compromise and be flexible with your spouse regarding the division of your assets and parenting time agreement. Because you have children together, your former spouse will be a part of your life at least for the remainder of their childhoods and more likely, the remainder of your life.
Glen Ellyn Divorce Lawyers Who Can Help
If you are considering filing for divorce or if you are working through the aftermath of a divorce, such as seeking a modification to your child support or parenting time agreement, work with an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer. Our team of experienced Glen Ellyn divorce and family lawyers at Mulyk Laho Law, LLC, can answer your questions about the divorce process and provide you with the legal representation and guidance you need as you work through this process. Contact our firm today at 630-852-1100 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation with a qualified member of our legal team.