Mistakes Fathers Make in Family Court
Helping You Avoid Further Conflict in Your Divorce
Going through a divorce is very difficult and frustrating. Unfortunately, you can make it worse by doing any of the things listed below.
- Airing details of your divorce on social media — Anything you post online can be used against you in court and by your spouse. Keep all details to yourself, especially any emotional or personal details.
- Involving your kids in your divorce — This whole situation is hard enough on your kids as it is. Don’t use them as a conduit to talk to your spouse and don’t use them as a sounding board about your divorce or any other adult issue. They love both of you and will say what you want to hear, which will just confuse things further. Instead, tell them you love them and that even though they will now have two homes, you will still be family.
- Using your children as pawns in your divorce or custody dispute — If you threaten to take your children away from their mother and never let her see them again, it is considered a strike against you by the courts and can be used against you by your spouse’s attorney.
- Threatening not to pay child support — The state of Minnesota requires both parents to support their children, regardless of the events surrounding their divorce. Threats like this will make things more difficult for you and worse between you and your wife or ex-wife.
- Expecting that you will get equal consideration as a parent if you haven’t participated in your children’s lives — If you haven’t been “hands on” with your kids in terms of feeding, bathing, clothing, caring for them during the day, or participating in their everyday lives, you’re not going to be considered an equal when it comes to parenting in the context of a custody dispute. It is a good idea to be involved with your kids all of their lives because they’re your kids and it’s what’s right for them.
- Throwing Mom under the bus — Badmouthing your wife or ex-wife just makes it harder on your kids and will probably get back to their mother, one way or another. This can create more discord between the two of you. It can also cause behavioral problems for your kids.
- Thinking with your wallet — Especially when it comes to your kids, you can’t let money influence your position. Keep their best interests in mind at all times, even if it is to your wife’s or ex-wife’s advantage. It may cost you more, but in the long run, it will be better for them and for you.
- Domestic violence — Emotions run high during a divorce. You have to go above and beyond to avoid any confrontation that could possibly be construed as domestic violence. There is a perceived bias in favor of women in domestic violence situations and there are women who will try to force a conflict in order to gain the upper hand in a divorce.
- Not responding to a divorce petition or requests for information from your wife’s lawyer — As hard as this is, drawing it out further will just make it worse for everyone involved. You need to respond promptly and clearly, with the correct and accurate information so you are not holding the process up or accused of presenting false information.
- Not having legal representation — Hiring an attorney may be the smartest thing you ever do during a divorce. Many men think they’re going to get screwed anyway, so why bother. An attorney will watch out for your best interests and help you get what you need for a decent start in your new life.
Enforcing Your Fathers’ Rights
Todd Dwire of Dwire Law Offices, P.A., in Lakeville, Minnesota, will guide you through your divorce and help you avoid these and other mistakes fathers make in family court. He will fight to see that you get time with your children and are treated fairly in the division of property and debt. He works with you and your wife’s lawyer to come to an agreement that both of you can live with. If you and your wife are unable to compromise, he will take your case to court and fight for your rights.