Being a Proactive and Present Father is the Best Way to Avoid Divorce, According to This Divorce Lawyer
If you’re a married father, it can be difficult to self reflect and admit mistakes or contributions to an unhappy marriage. However, divorce lawyer B. Robert Farzad lays out some possible pitfalls to consider if you want to prevent a divorce and make your marriage work. If you choose to view yourself solely as the breadwinner, and not a parent or co-parent, it can lead to anger and resentment. It’s also common divorcing spouses say they drifted from their spouse because their children were their sole focus.
Over 20 years as a litigator and many of those years a divorce and family law litigator, I have learned fathers who endure difficult divorces are often victims of choices they made during the marriage.
These five mistakes by dads are the ones that lead to the most anger and mistrust. Avoiding them now may make divorce less painful if it happens—and may prevent it from happening at all.
1. Do Not Be A Secondary Parent
Parenting is a shared responsibility. If you choose the “she parents while I work 60-hour weeks to bring home the bacon” road, you may find yourself left with nothing but your half of the bacon.
Work-focused fathers we represent say they never agreed to be the sole breadwinner. “It just happened that way, I swear,” they tell me. Mothers say the opposite. “We agreed! He’d work while I took care of the kids.”
Dad abdicated too much parenting responsibility to Mom. Now, in the divorce, his choice is a sword she may use to get greater parenting time and, in California, more child support.
2. Live For Your Spouse And For Your Children
Many times, I have heard divorcing spouses say they lived for their children. Somehow, they grew apart from their spouses. That spark and love? Gone.
Your children may feel like your entire world, but ask yourself: Are you forgetting someone equally important in that world? You married your wife. You love her. She loves you.
But you can lose that love when you focus too much on raising the children. Continue to work on the relationship that caused the love, respect, marriage—and your bundles of joy.
You and your spouse share responsibility to keep your relationship strong. Because once you lose the spark, you may never get it back. What is next? Mutual resentment, perhaps infidelity and eventually divorce.