Divorce can cause stress and emotional turmoil for all parties involved. Although mothers and children often receive more attention, fathers may also experience significant trauma. In this article, we provide advice to fathers who are undergoing the divorce process.
As with other areas, family law in London can be complex and, in most divorce cases, somebody will inevitably come off worse. While a lot of divorce cases involving children focus on the mother, the process can be devastating for dads and, in this article, we’re sharing our advice for dads going through the divorce process.
Why Is Divorce Hard On Dads?
Divorce can be emotionally challenging for both men and women, but some factors can make the process particularly difficult for men. Sadly, society still has certain expectations of men, and one of them is to be strong and stoic in the face of adversity. Consequently, a number of men end up suppressing their emotions instead of seeking support. These actions can lead to feelings of depression and isolation.
Despite the fact the courts are becoming increasingly gender-neutral, mothers still tend to be granted primary custody of children more often than dads. This can be hard for fathers, who may feel like they are missing out on their children’s everyday life.
Advice for Dads Going Through the Divorce Process
During a divorce or separation, many fathers believe that taking a step back after leaving the family home will help to smooth the transition for everybody. In reality, this can cause separation anxiety both for the children and the dad – particularly if they have been used to seeing each other every day.
Young children in particular will find it difficult to comprehend what’s happening and they need the reassurance of seeing both parents. If a court has not yet tackled the custody of the children, it will be up to you and your former spouse to come to an agreement on visitation arrangements in the meantime.
Don’t play the blame game
If a divorce has been acrimonious, either parent may be tempted to be hostile towards their former spouse. However, doing so in their children’s presence can be a deeply traumatic and distressing experience for your kids, so it is important to resist the urge.
Listen to the pros
A lot of couples with parents believe that they can hash out divorce and custody details between themselves – but this rarely ends well. When emotions are running high, mediation can help both parties to focus on the facts, and on what’s best for the children.
At the same time, you should always make sure that you secure the services of a good family law solicitor who will be able to advise you on your rights in terms of custody, the marital home and much more.
The support network
Going through a divorce as a dad can be extremely isolating and it’s incredibly important to surround yourself with family and friends who are going to offer practical and emotional support – not just opinions.
Speaking to a therapist can also be an important step in the healing and recovery process, and can help dads build a stronger and more fulfilling life post-divorce. Attending therapy can provide a safe and non-judgmental space to work through any difficult emotions.
In addition, it’s a good idea to speak to your boss just to give them a heads-up regarding what you’re going through. They may be able to offer additional support including, and in some cases time off.
Don’t go it alone during a divorce..
As mentioned in this article, it is important for dads to prioritise self-care and love during and after a divorce proceeding. This can include seeking emotional support from family, friends, or a therapist, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet, and taking time to engage in hobbies or activities that bring joy and relaxation.
Dads should also make an effort to communicate openly and honestly with their children, and work to maintain a positive co-parenting relationship with their ex-spouse. By taking care of their own well-being, dads can better navigate the challenges of divorce and emerge stronger on the other side.