It may be surprising that not taking your children to their after school activities could be such a big mistake. Such seemingly small issues though, often become heated points of contention during a divorce.
Parents care deeply about spending time with their children and being involved in the important activities of their lives. If you played football in school, one of the most important activities you want to do with your son is take him to football practice.
Some parents however, especially fathers, do the exact opposite during divorce. Instead of keeping a routine, many dads decide to keep their distance.
Why Fathers Stay Away
Some aspects of divorce are new and uncomfortable for parents. For many fathers, dropping off and picking up their children is one such stressful activity. Where once they had unlimited access to their children, fathers now have to schedule things with their ex-spouses. Working out such schedules can often lead to disagreements or even arguments.
When a divorce starts, parents will work out a parenting plan that determines which parent will have the children on which day. Often this defaults to weekends only for the father. Afternoon football practice and Thursday night dance classes sometimes get forgotten when the schedule is being discussed. If spouses are already fighting about other issues, it can be stressful to coordinate scheduling for a 1-2 hour afternoon practice or class.
Some fathers experience so much grief trying to work with their soon to be ex-spouses, they give up in frustration. Instead of spending time with their children and taking them to after school activities, they keep their distance. They decide the best way to keep the peace is to give up on football practice and only see their children on the weekends.
Don’t Put it Off
Some fathers rationalize that emotions are simply too high during the divorce to discuss such issues. If they wait until the divorce is final, it will be easier to work everything out. Many also assume that the judge will simply make a ruling and they won’t have to argue with their ex-wives about it.
Unfortunately, choosing to wait sets the wrong pattern. As the divorce goes on, several months may pass without you taking the children to their activities. After six months of someone else taking your son to football practice, the judge is unlikely to rule in your favor. Many men find out too late that waiting was the wrong choice.
Do it Now and Keep it Up
The best choice you can make as a father is to take your son to football practice right now and keep doing it throughout the divorce. If you want to have a real share in your children’s lives and their activities after your divorce, set the pattern now.
The court likes to maintain stability and routine for the children. If you maintain a consistent schedule of taking your children to their after school activities, this routine will most likely be confirmed in the final parenting plan. That way you will always be in the bleachers when your son is on the field.
Have more questions about child custody?
Divorce Lawyers For Men™ attorneys help fathers going through divorce. Meet in person with a Washington divorce lawyer who will be happy to explain the child custody laws of Washington State. Call us today at (877) 866-7393 to speak with an attorney who understands your situation and can offer real help.
If you would like more information on the divorce process, or to take the best divorce resources with you in print, please check out our free divorce guide for men or contact our office to meet with an attorney about your particular circumstances.
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