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Divorcing dads: Avoid these common mistakes

There's an old song that belts out how "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," and that is certainly the case when it comes to an acrimonious and contentious divorce. When children are involved, the feelings of resentment, anger and even grief can be consuming. For fathers, this can lead to some common mistakes, and those mistakes can affect many things during and after the divorce decree is signed. Here are some of those common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Not making your children a priority is one of the biggest mistakes a father can make during a divorce. You may think that just giving in to your soon-to-be ex-wife's demands will keep the peace in the family. Perhaps you feel that it will simply be easier to agree now to a limited visitation, because you think your ex will give in later on to your requests to see the children.

Children whose parents divorce need both mom and dad in their lives. Visitation shouldn't be relegated to every other weekend for a total of 24 hours. Fighting in court may not be the most ideal situation, but it may be the only way that a father can get the appropriate visitation time with his children.

Fathers also need to be aware of their finances. Between paying child support, alimony and helping to support two households, a father's finances can be stretched to the limit. It's important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to get a better understanding of how to budget for changes after the divorce.

Finally, don't let your child support or alimony payments go unpaid. Even if you've lost your job or had another financial setback, a child support modification hearing may be possible to lower your support payments.

Divorce is exhausting, both mentally and financially. However, if you keep the best interests of your children at the forefront, you may have a better chance at an equitable settlement and visitation.

Source: Huffington Post, "5 Dumb Mistakes Dads Make During Divorce and How to Avoid Them" B. Robert Farzad, Feb. 13, 2014

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