Most marriage ceremonies contain the phrases “For better or worse, in sickness and health and ‘til death do we part”. Unfortunately, almost half of all marriages in the United States are unable to meet these marital oaths for one reason or another. In some cases where the marriage is high conflict with lots of arguing divorce is a better solution for both the spouses and the children. You are a recently divorced dad. You sometimes wonder what your relationship will be with your children as they become adults because of the divorce. There might be some confusion as to what your role is as a dad: to continue to be a father even though chances are that you will not end up with custody of your children. One thing to keep in mind is that if your marriage was high conflict, after the divorce you have a better chance to spend increased quality time with your children. There is no time like the present to improve the bonds between yourself as a dad to your children. You can divorce your wife, but you will always be a father to your children.   The time to be involved is right now. Studies show that fathers who are not close to their children when they are young never develop close relationships even when the children are adults. Children who have both parents involved in their lives have a greater chance of having wellbeing and being successful. No matter how young they are, according to Jean Piaget, a renowned child psychologist, basic feelings of safety and trust are formed by the age of six. Children learn by their interactions with their environments. Trust is an important element of relationship building.

So, how do you begin to form a strong bond with your children? There are two very important things to remember when attempting to strengthen your relationship with your children. Try to maintain low conflict interactions with the mother of your children. Secondly, be well informed about the things that your children will find positive in their interactions with you. There are several factors that you can cultivate with your children to improve their chances of being successful. Studies show that people or children are more likely to overcome adversity if they are adaptable. Your children need to know that you are always there for them and will support them in every way. It is important to guide your children, teach them valuable lessons and encourage and praise them when they accomplish something worthwhile. Teach them temperance, control, humor, empathy, good social problem-solving and an intellectual awareness.

Along with providing good input to your children, it is important to monitor how they are dealing with the divorce– especially if the mother of your children remarries. This is due to the fact that there might be step children involved or since the mother of your children had discord in your marriage, these issues might translate to a new marriage. In fact, it may be even more important for you to be involved because of the new environment your children will find themselves in.

How will you know if your children are thriving? If your children are not thriving it will be apparent in their behaviors. Negative influences will facilitate negative behaviors. Hypothetically, if you are involved with your children and keeping interactions with their mother low conflict and are seeing negative behaviors, it is time to consider filing for sole custody. Do some research to locate a law firm such as the that specializes in child custody and has experience with dads filing for sole custody. The firm can educate you on what your rights are and what to prepare for and expect. It is important to obtain a legal representative in order to guide you through this process and insure that all procedures are clear and well defined. The attorney will also be looking out for what is in your children’s best interest. An attorney will be present at all court hearings and advise you there.

Whether or not you are involved with your children or obtain sole custody of your children, the above concepts still apply. After all, you will remain a dad “for better or worse”. Why not make it better?


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