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What are mistakes fathers commonly make in divorces?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2023 | Family Law |

The words, difficult and stressful, are often used to describe divorce. This can be especially true for fathers that want to stay engaged as fathers. Unfortunately, this can lead some to make mistakes that can jeopardize a favorable divorce decree. Luckily, if you know what not to do, you can make sure you do not make these mistakes.

Assuming your ex has a custody advantage

First, it is a myth that your ex (presumably, the mother) will have an advantage in child custody disputes. California sees both parents equally in their rights and responsibilities and decide child custody cases based on your child’s best interest.

This myth can lead some fathers to give up custody or settle for less than they deserve because they think that fighting for custody is futile. Instead, be proactive in your child’s life. Show the court that your home is safe, and that you provide a supportive and loving home for your children.

Not paying child or spousal support

Arguments can easily escalate in relationships and in divorces. This can lead some fathers to stop making child or spousal support payments to punish their ex for whatever reason.

Even if it is arguably justified, do not do this.

Failing to pay court-ordered support has severe consequences. You can be sent to jail, you can face additional fines and this will hurt your credibility in court.

If you are having difficulty paying child or spousal support because of some life change, seek a modification. This can reduce your obligation. If your spouse is keeping your kids away from you, seek help from the court. Do not withhold payments. And, keep records of all your payments and expenses, and communicate those payments and expenses to the court because modifications can be warranted when there are circumstance changes.

Not following court orders or agreements

Whatever the judge says, do it. One of the biggest mistakes a father can make is failing to follow a court order or agreement. This includes interfering with your ex’s parenting rights, withholding information, making unilateral parenting decisions, etc. These actions can result in fines, jail time and the loss of visitation rights or custody.

Remember, everything you do can be used against you and for you in all the decisions the family court judge makes. And, they are looking for what is in the best interests of your children. Everything you do should give that judge every indication that you are in the best interests of your children.