divorced dad

4 Things All Divorced Dads Should Do For Their Kids

divorced dad

Divorce is incredibly difficult, but it is important for you to keep in mind how your breakup is affecting your children.

As a father, the best interest of your children is always your top priority. You should never lose sight of that.

With that in mind, here are four things all divorced dads should do to help their kids adjust to their divorce.

Don’t expose them to any breakdowns

Two of the most common emotions associated with divorce are anxiety and depression. There is just so much emotional turmoil to overcome that it is impossible not to end  up a little stressed and sad.

It is critical to your well-being to avoid bottling up these emotions. That is one of the most self-destructive habits you can develop during this challenging time.

However, it is important that you find appropriate outlets to vent about those feelings. Reach out to family members and close friends. It is certainly worth looking into seeing a therapist to help you sort through what you are experiencing.

Do not, under any circumstances, use your children as a sounding board. This is already a heartbreaking process for them, and they should not be expected to talk you through your struggles.

This does not mean you should try to feign fake emotional strength. It is healthy to admit that you are sad to your kids and show your vulnerabilities, so that they know it is OK to feel that way too. But any emotional breakdowns you might go through should be away from their eyes and ears and in the company of a trusted confidant who is more emotionally equipped to help you.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

Work with your ex to co-parent effectively

Children of divorce are at risk for a number of negative consequences, but those risks can largely be negated by having two active and involved parents involved in their lives.

Effective co-parenting requires clear communication, flexibility, patience, and a commitment to doing what is best for your children regardless of how you and your ex feel about each other.

This is obviously more challenging if there are hard feelings between you and your ex. A lot of couples are utilizing co-parenting counselors to help figure out this process.

“Co-parenting counseling is a specific kind of counseling intended to teach parents who are separated or divorced to communicate more effectively,” said Cordell & Cordell divorce attorney Jamie Spero. “The purpose of it is to talk about the kids’ best interest in a neutral environment with a neutral third party who has special training, and this person is supposed to help you learn to communicate more effectively, so you can co-parent your children easier.”

You might be in a spot where your ex is just too disagreeable to co-parent with. In these scenarios, it might be worth employing a parallel parenting model, which is designed for high-conflict couples.

Avoid bad-mouthing your ex in front of your kids

It does not matter how terrible your ex is, you should never speak ill of her in front of your children. Kids tend to idolize their parents and love them unconditionally. When they hear you breaking her down, it creates confusion and can result in a toxic relationship and even parental alienation.

Again, keep in mind that the best way for you to ensure your children avoid the negative effects of divorce is by ensuring they have a loving relationship with both you and their mother. The negativity between you and your ex should stay between the two of you.

Encourage your kids to talk about your divorce

Just like you, your children need to have a place to talk about the feelings they have about your divorce. Seeing their parents fall out of love and break up is confusing and can lead to heartache, anger, sadness, and a number of other unpleasant emotions.

You should communicate that it is OK for them to feel all of these things and make sure they know you are always available to talk if they need to. Understandably, they might not be comfortable opening up about some things with you, so you might need to find a teacher or counselor who can listen to your children and help them make sense what they are going through.

The post 4 Things All Divorced Dads Should Do For Their Kids appeared first on Dads Divorce.


8 Ways a Divorced Dad Can Boost his Daughter’s Self-Esteem

8 Ways a Divorced Dad Can Boost his Daughter’s Self-Esteem

There are plenty of things a divorced dad can do to protect his daughter from the damaging effects of long-term conflict during and after divorce. A divorced dad can empower his daughter with a willingness to put her interests first by using these strategies.

The post 8 Ways a Divorced Dad Can Boost his Daughter’s Self-Esteem appeared first on Divorce Magazine.


Father’s Day in Divorce Court

Father’s Day in Divorce Court

Although there is no such thing as Father’s Day in Divorce Court, the courts have begun to realize that fathers are just as important to children as their mothers are.

The post Father’s Day in Divorce Court appeared first on Divorce Magazine.


children of divorce

3 Ways Children Act Out During Divorce

children of divorceChildren of divorce are forced to adjust to so many dramatic changes. As difficult as your divorce might be for you, at least you have the prospect of starting your life anew and escaping an unhappy relationship.

Children of divorce must reconcile the fact that their parents do not love each other anymore. Sometimes, one parent will demonize the other and attempt to engage the child in parental alienation, a serious threat to the child’s well-being.

On top of all that, children of divorce must deal with a new living situation, new routines, potentially a new school, and much more. Divorce turns their entire world upside down and puts them at risk for many different negative life outcomes.

All these changes can result in behavioral problems that can lead to larger issues if they are not addressed. How your child responds to your divorce can vary depending on their age, but here are some common behaviors to look out for that might indicate they are struggling and need more help.

Of course, the best way to make sure your child has a healthy adjustment to your divorce is by ensuring that both you and their mother remain actively involved in their life. Shared parenting is proven to be the best post-divorce arrangement for children.

With that in mind, the impetus is on you to do everything you can to make sure you receive a fair child custody decision and the best way to achieve that is by making sure you have a family law attorney fighting for fathers’ rights in your corner who will keep your child’s best interests in mind.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

Problems socializing

Some children of divorce tend to shut down, especially in social settings. In situations where they used to be lively and active, they suddenly appear shy and timid. This might be because they are feeling depressed.

It also is common for otherwise friendly children to suddenly start acting overly aggressive with their peers. This could be because they are hurt by your divorce and struggling to come to terms with those feelings of anger.

Keep an eye on your child when they are around other children. Ask close friends, family members, and your child’s teachers to be on the lookout for unusual behavior, so you can address the problem before they develop into a larger social issue.

Trouble sleeping

Another common problem children of divorce often deal with is trouble sleeping. This is understandable considering the amount of stress they are under.

In addition to all the heartache of seeing their parents break up, they are trying to adapt to new routines and a new living situation. You and your ex need to work together to co-parent and establish regular routines as much as possible. Regular times to do homework, eat dinner, and get ready for bed can go a long way toward ensuring your child gets plenty of shuteye.

If your child persistently fails to get enough sleep, the problem could snowball into trouble at school and lead to other health issues.

Loss of appetite

Some kids struggling to adjust to their parents’ divorce will experience a loss of appetite. This is important to be on the lookout for because a proper diet and nutrition is critical to a child’s healthy development.

Make sure you plan ahead and prepare healthy, balanced meals for your child. (Teaching them how to cook also is a great opportunity for bonding time with Dad.) If your child tries to push away their plate, set rules so that they must eat finish their veggies before moving on to another activity.

What you can do

The most important thing you can do as a dad is be observant and conscious of how your child is acting so that you immediately recognize any abnormalities. Communicate with your child and encourage them to speak up about how they are feeling both physically and emotionally.

If you notice persistent problems in their behavior, it might be worth seeking the help of a licensed counselor or therapist. You can ask your family law attorney if they have any recommendations as it is common for them to have working relationships with mental health professionals.

The post 3 Ways Children Act Out During Divorce appeared first on Dads Divorce.


age by age guide to divorce

An Age-By-Age Guide For Helping Children Through Divorce

age by age guide to divorceResearch tells us that children of divorce face many risks. It is a major challenge for kids to cope with the drastic change that is inevitable after their parents split and that adjustment is even tougher if they are exposed to the conflict of divorce.

How children of divorce respond to news of their parents’ split can also vary wildly depending on their age. Your 4-year-old toddler is probably going to take the news of your divorce a whole lot differently than your 15-year-old who is about to get their driver’s license.

Below you will find an age-by-age guide walking you through how children are likely to respond to your divorce. You also will find tips for how you can help ease this difficult transition for them.

No matter your child’s age, the best thing you can do to ensure a healthy adjustment after your divorce is ensuring that they have a strong and loving relationship with both you and their mother. Unfortunately, that is not always possible if your child custody order pushes you out of the picture. That is why it is so important for you to find a family law attorney who focuses on men’s divorce and protecting the rights of fathers.

As soon as it is apparent that your marriage is heading for divorce get in touch with a divorce lawyer for men, so that you have an advocate in your corner looking out for the best interests of both you and your child.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

Toddlers (18 months to 3 years)

The cognitive ability of toddlers is very limited, which makes divorce very confusing.

They also have yet to develop the coping skills needed to adjust to such a dramatic life change. That leaves them particularly vulnerable to emotional problems later in life.

The younger a child is, the more self-centered they are and the more likely they are to personalize your divorce, meaning they may end up feeling like your divorce is their fault. When a toddler’s parents divorce, it is not unusual to see them regress and return to behaviors such as thumb sucking and bedwetting, and they might struggle sleeping alone at night.

Easing the transition: As much as possible, work to establish a predictable routine that is easy for your child to follow. Focus on spending plenty of time with your child and offer extra attention anytime you notice them acting scared or lonely.

Be patient with your child if they show any behavior problems. Keep in mind how confusing this adjustment is for them and show compassion and empathy anytime they act out or express sadness about the situation.

Preschoolers (3 to 6 years)

It is difficult for a preschooler to grasp the concept of divorce and they will want their parents to stay together regardless of how unpleasant the home environment is.

Children in this age bracket might be more likely to believe they are the reason their parents are separating. Feelings of anger and fear about the uncertainty of their lives are common.

Easing the transition: Children this age tend to reflect whatever moods their parents are in, so try to handle your divorce in a positive and respectful manner.

Although your preschooler will probably be too young to fully understand what is happening, you still need to be there to talk to them and answer questions they might have.

There also are children’s divorce books written for preschoolers that can help them relate to what is happening.

How children of divorce respond to news of their parents’ split can also vary wildly depending on their age.
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School-age children (6 to 12 years)

Since school-aged children are a little older, they might have gotten used to the nurturing environment you raised them in. Now that their parents are suddenly splitting, it is natural for them to experience fear of abandonment.

How much your child understands about divorce still will vary depending on how old they are.

Kids ages 8 and younger are less likely to grasp what is happening and more likely to blame themselves for their parents’ breakup.

Children age 8 to 11 are prone to blaming one parent in particular and choosing sides. Boys often lash out aggressively against siblings or classmates, and girls tend to withdraw and become anxious or depressed.

Easing the transition: Since your child is likely struggling with feelings of loss and rejection during your divorce, you need to focus on establishing a sense of security for them and rebuilding their self-confidence.

The best way to do this is by makings sure both you and your ex-wife spend plenty of quality time with them and encourage them to discuss their feelings. Reinforce that neither of you are abandoning them and that the divorce is in no way their fault.

As with the younger age groups, a steady routine can go a long way toward helping your school-age child adjust after your divorce. Regular times to eat, do homework, and go to bed are critical.

It is important to help your child maintain a healthy social life, so encourage them to get involved in extra-curricular activities they have interest in. This is a great way for your child to rebuild their self-esteem and connect with other kids their age, rather than withdrawing from the world.

If you notice persistent unusual behavior from your child in the wake of your divorce, regardless of their age, it might be worth enlisting the help of a professional counselor or therapist. They can gain valuable insight into what is going on with your child and can help give you the tools you need to guide them through this difficult transition.

Teenagers (13 to 19 years)

A child’s adolescent and teenage years are developmentally crucial, and a parental divorce has the potential to disrupt their maturation and harm the relationships they build as adults.

At this age, your teenager is more likely to understand the complexities of divorce, but teens also tend to be more judgmental and are quicker to assign blame.

Teenagers are often intelligent and might seem like adults, which causes many parents to make the mistaken assumption that they are more mature than they actually are. Science shows their brains continue developing until age 25 or 26.

Easing the transition: Just because your teenager appears mature, do not use them as a confidant during your divorce. That throws more pressure on them than they deserve.

Avoid insulting your ex in front of them as it is important for their development to have loving relationships with both you and their mother.

Offer to let your teen vent whenever they need to and encourage them to be honest about what they are feeling, even if that means they end up expressing anger towards you.

Take steps to establish a wider support network of family, friends, and teachers so that your child knows they have plenty of loved ones behind them. Sometimes it is easier for them to open up to someone other than a parent.

The post An Age-By-Age Guide For Helping Children Through Divorce appeared first on Dads Divorce.


children of divorce

3 Keys For Success As A Divorced Dad

children of divorceThe biggest fear that many fathers have going into the divorce process is that splitting apart the family will reduce the role they play in their kids’ lives.

Children of divorce face plenty of challenges, and it can be crippling if one parent ends up alienated out of their lives.

In many cases, these fears are warranted. Due to unfair and outdated gender stereotypes, fathers have historically gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to child custody decisions.

That is why it is critical, as soon as you realize you are headed toward divorce, to get in touch with a family law attorney who focuses on protecting fathers’ rights. A divorce attorney who understands the specific challenges dads face during the divorce process is going to be better positioned to help you achieve your goals in family court.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

Fortunately, the shared parenting movement has made much progress and is continuing to make headway in restructuring state child custody statutes, so that both parents remain an active part of their children’s lives. This is critical for children of divorce as shared parenting is proven to be the best post-divorce arrangement for children.

Even if your time with your child is limited, here are some things you can do to be the best divorced dad you can be.

Commit to co-parenting with your ex

More than likely, you and your ex have your share of disagreements. That is fine since you are no longer married to this person, but you still have to co-parent, and finding an arrangement that works for both of you is in the best interest of your children.

Remain flexible, do what you can to cooperate, and work your hardest to communicate clearly and effectively. The two of you might consider co-parenting counseling to help you figure out a workable system.

Since co-parenting involves two people, you only have so much control. If your ex is especially difficult, look into a parallel parenting arrangement, which is a high-conflict model of co-parenting for couples who cannot get along.

Stay engaged

Many of the risks children of divorce face can be mitigated by having an active and engaged father.

Many of the risks children of divorce face can be mitigated by having an active and engaged father.
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To some extent, your involvement is going to be limited by your child custody arrangement. However, there are some things you can do to get the most out of your parenting time even if it is far less than you would like.

Do not fixate on making every outing with your child some major event. When you do that, you run the risk of becoming a “Disneyland dad.”

Instead, focus your efforts on simpler gestures. Help them with their homework. Make sure you know what they have going on at school. Play catch in the backyard.

Gameday Coffee is an organization whose entire mission is focused on fostering intentional, purposeful, one-on-one time between parents and children. The point being that even something as simple as a shared cup of coffee can be meaningful as long as you are present with your child.

Get your child help

Children of divorce face major changes even if their parents do everything possible to shield them from conflict and commit to co-parenting together. There are probably questions about your divorce your child is not comfortable asking, and to help them cope with the emotions they are experiencing you might need to enlist outside help.

As much as you and your ex love your child, there are some things they may just not feel comfortable talking to you about. Be sure to communicate with your child’s teachers, close friends, family members, and other people who are around your child a lot, to be on the lookout for unusual behavior.

If that is the case, you should consider enlisting the help of a licensed counselor or therapist to help your child transition through this process. Their professional expertise can help them gain valuable insight into what your child is experiencing, and they can give you the tools you need to help them through this adjustment.

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