It has been said that there are no guarantees in life, only opportunities. This is often overlooked in discussions about parenting after divorce. If you are a divorced dad and your child custody situation in unfair and unbalanced, you may need to look at your parenting time as an opportunity rather than a loss.
This was the advice given by author Joel Schwartzberg in a recent Huffington Post article. He argues that even if your custody agreement gives you minimal time with your kids, you still get to be their father.
To be sure, this article will probably upset more than a few readers, and with good reason. Child custody disputes tend to be the most stressful part of a divorce and often leave at least one parent feeling like they got short shrift. More often than not, fathers are the parent left out in the cold.
But Schwartzberg offers the reminder that there are plenty of married dads that spend less time with their kids (and less quality time) than divorced dads do. By necessity or choice, some men spend all waking hours away from home with little time to even interact with their children. Even with a limited custody and visitation schedule, divorced dads at least have time set aside to be with their kids.
The one major caveat to this argument is that there are some situations that cannot be resolved or improved with a simple attitude change. If your ex-wife is “gate keeping” and controlling access to your kids in violation of the custody agreement, or if she is attempting to turn the children against you and destroy the relationship, these behaviors may require court intervention. It’s a good idea to seek the help of an attorney in these cases.
If the custody agreement is being followed but you still feel like you have divorced your children as well as your wife, it may be helpful to seek a different perspective like the one advocated by Schwartzberg. Although we may be biologically bonded to our kids, we must take advantage of opportunities to truly be fathers.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Note to Divorced Dads: You Didn’t Divorce Your Kids,” Joel Schwartzberg, Aug. 12, 2014