Friday, May 4, 2012

Stolen Post Alert! !

   So, Hannah has her first "Father / Daughter Dance coming up this weekend and last night while working my second job she "texted" me photos of the dress she is going to wear.  It was wonderful to see this and to feel a "part of it all" but . . . it highlighted the very fact that . . . I am really not in so many ways a "part of it".  With working two jobs I am now getting the kids on Saturday and spending just one night with them to only take them home around two on Sunday's.  Of course . . . this is not something that brings me joy but . . . I know it is a necessity and really I have no choice.  The trouble is that it always brings up that internal struggle of . . . how can I be a good dad when I am not there? 
With that in mind, I found an article that I wanted to share.  So - here is "Being a Good Divorced Dad Means Not Giving Up On Your Kids" by Jeffery M. Leving.  I will admit that I pilfered this post from the "Father's Rights Blog" (see link at the bottom). 
Being a good divorced dad means not giving up on your kids

By Jeffery M. Leving

Most divorced fathers want to spend as much time as possible with their children but oftentimes, for a variety of reason, feel they can’t.

Being a “Good Divorced Dad” oftentimes depends on how much time a father is able to commit to their children. It’s one of the topics I address in detail in my new book, which comes out this Spring, “How to be a Good Divorced Dad: Preventing the Divorce Process and Its After effects from Hurting Your Relationship with Your Children.”

Sometimes, the causes that prevent divorced fathers from becoming good dads have to do with the provisions of the divorce agreement, limiting the time they can spend with their children. Other times, the factors involve personal hurt or lack of self-esteem caused by the divorce. You may be a father physically but not in the spirit that allows you to put the strength and time into it that is required.

In many cases, divorced dads accept a restricted role that is often imposed on them by these circumstances.

But you can change that and you can be a great divorced dad who becomes a role model for your children for years to come.

My book walks fathers through the process of identifying the obstacles that prevent divorced fathers from protecting their relationship with their children.

I call them the Seven Deadly Sins of failed divorced fatherhood. They are: the terms of the custody agreement; orders of protection; financial problems; legal trickery; gender bias; guilt; and anger.

In each instance, there is a strategy to improve the amount of time you spend with your children and to improve the quality of that time.

For example, in the case of having to live under the terms of a very restrictive custody agreement, you can become available to your ex-wife to assist her by being there to help with the children. Too often, the personal animosity that results from many divorces prevents this, but your children need you.

You have to watch for opportunities when your ex-spouse will need help with the children and be there to take advantage of the opportunities. And you have to strategically think about how you approach this, not feed into the anger.

You may be hurt about the divorce. Your ex-wife may be a vengeful person. You need to control your own emotions for the benefit of your children. Why allow your former spouse’s anger to impact your relationship with your children?

A good lawyer will also be able to help with the language in your custody agreement to facilitate opportunities to increase contact with your children. They can be built into the agreement.

In each of these challenges you will want to insure that the time spent with your children is quality time. You need to work on that, but there are methods to help you do that. Planning your time with your children will vastly improve the relationship.

Having a competent, experienced attorney at your side will help avoid many of these challenges, such as avoiding an order of protection that is based on false allegations against you. Many father are coerced by guilt and a gender-biased system into believing that they must admit to fault when there is none.

My book has a list of questions divorced dads can answer to help make them stronger and more effective divorced dads. Knowing them. Thinking about them. And answering them will help improve your experience with your children.

The point is don’t give up. Control the process of divorce in order to control your relationship. And make sure your rights are properly represented when you begin the divorce.

(Named one of “America’s Best Lawyers” by Forbes Radio, Jeffery Leving is the author of two ground-breaking books, Fathers’ Rights and Divorce Wars. He can be reached at
In all fairness, this article would be best for fathers getting ready for a divorce but . . . it still gives me some hope.  I have always maintained that I don't believe in divorce and still to this day find it destructive and harmful. 
Looking back now on my divorce and thinking about the Seven Deadly Sins of failed divorced fatherhood. They are: the terms of the custody agreement; orders of protection; financial problems; legal trickery; gender bias; guilt; and anger.  I know that I was greatly impacted by not having full financial disclosure prior to and during the divorce and I should have done this.  I also know that, while the term "legal trickery" is a "strong" term . . . it fits once you consider that the "divorce agreement" you signed is not the one that gets "reprinted" and turned into the court and that this one . . . gets mailed to an address that you have not lived at in ten months . . . . call it whatever . . it sure sucked.  Guilt and anger . . . sure.  What man does not feel guilty that he has failed? 

Of all the things that I think I have learned the one that I would share with others is that if your are going to divorce . . . get an attorney.  It's OK to want to be "nice" and work things out by yourself but . . . even with the best of intentions the odds are stacked against you.  Gaining legal disclosure would have helped me so much and would have, I believe, also benefited my relationship with the kids.
Still . . . most of this is my "thoughts and opinions" but the one thing that I know for sure is that Mr. Leving's book can be bought on Amazon for 4.26.  Mine will be here next week . . . . I hope it helps . . . . :-)

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