For any parent, one of the most painful things about their divorce is how it affects their relationship with their children. Correct me if I’m wrong but fathers feel this pain more acutely than mothers for several reasons:
- Gender stereotypes and biases in the family court system in Utah cause fathers to lose child custody battles, resulting in less parent-time and custody;
- Fathers are more likely to be pushed into assuming the secondary parent role after a divorce; and
- Mothers are more likely to turn the child against the father through the process of parental alienation, restraining orders, false domestic violence or child abuse accusations, or other methods.
How a child custody attorney may be able to help you connect with your child
“For many dads in Utah, divorce destabilizes their relationship with their children and they no longer find ways to connect with their kids post-divorce,” says our <strongSalt Lake City child custody attorney at The Ault Firm. This is true even for fathers who gain a 50-50 split in child custody, even though this kind of split is rather rare in the modern world, largely due to the gender biases that are still prevalent in the family court system in Utah.
It goes without saying that after divorce, fathers enjoy much less parenting time than they had during their marriage. Many dads in Utah benefit from hiring an experienced child custody attorney in Salt Lake City, because it is paramount to make sure that your ex-wife is not trying to take away or restrict your parental rights.
With a skilled lawyer by your side, you may be able to obtain a child support or child custody modification as long as you can prove that such a modification is in the child’s best interest.
3 tips for fathers on how to connect with their kids after divorce
There are several ways fathers can connect with their children and/or rebuild trust and emotional bond after a divorce, as challenging as it may sound if your ex-wife is trying to do whatever it takes to ruin that connection, trust, and bond.
Stay active and engaged. Regardless of how much parenting time you were awarded as a result of your divorce, it is critical to stay active and engaged. Be genuinely curious about your child’s life, his/her interests, post-school activities, education, and other aspects of his or her life. Having those superficial “How was your day at school?” conversations is not enough to connect with your child after a divorce. You need to get deeper than that. Encourage your kid to talk about their feelings, fears, worries, what makes them happy and unhappy… These are the conversations that truly matter.
Find a new shared hobby or activity. If you want your child to be looking forward to spending time with you, you need to find a shared hobby or activity both you and your child have an interest in or are passionate about. A hobby or shared activity offer a perfect opportunity for you to have meaningful conversations with your child (we have previously discussed why these conversations are important).
Do not be hard on your child. Be forgiving. As you may or may not know, divorce is painful not only for the parents getting divorced, but also their kids. Many parents do not realize that children react to their parents’ divorce differently, and some get angry or upset about it. For children, especially those under the age of 18, it takes time to make sense of things and process their emotions and feelings. So make sure you are forgiving and helpful when it comes to helping your child cope with his or her emotions and feelings after the divorce.
What if the only way to connect with your child after a divorce is to seek a child custody or child support modification? Consult with our Salt Lake City child custody attorney about your legal options today. Call at 801-539-9000 for your case evaluation.