When a married couple goes through a divorce, one of the most contested
issues is often their children.
As a psychologically-trained mediator and divorce attorney for more than
35 years, I’ve seen countless custody disputes.
For many years, courts ruled in favor of the mother as the parent who retained
full custody of the children while leaving a lot of good fathers with
the short end of the stick.
In those cases, the ones that suffered the most were the children who needed
and deserved the love and support of both parents.
In recent years because of the changing family dynamic where both parents
are in the work force full time and because the contributions of fathers
are becoming more appreciated, the legal system has started to give fathers
joint or even full custody. But many dads are not aware of this and have
little knowledge of their parental rights.
What’s a father to do?
First, it’s a good idea to be aware of what the word “custody”
actually means. Custody is about the right to make major decisions, not
necessarily about where they live, but things such as:
- Where the kids will go to school
- The religion of the children
- The medical care the children will receive
For fathers who want shared custody of the children (and this goes for
mothers as well), it’s better not to fight about it through the
The best thing you can do is use the skills of a professional mediator
as well as a therapist who will talk you and your soon-to-be former spouse
through the logistics of making decisions and compromises where there
are no losers—especially not the children.
Fighting through the legal system is messy, expensive, and unpredictable.
Judges can make decisions about the future of your children without having
all of the facts or a true understanding of the psychological dynamics.
Additionally, fathers going through a divorce have not only the right,
but the responsibility to make sure they are able to preserve and nurture
a healthy relationship with their children.
Divorce is a life-changing event and a dad can better prepare his children
for this by speaking to a therapist. By seeing a professional counselor,
fathers can examine issues surrounding their children who will need extra
emotional support during and after a divorce. The age of the children
at the time of the divorce is also a critical factor.
There are numerous self-help and legal books including mine,
Getting Your Share…, which can help fathers learn more about their parental rights and prepare
them and their children for what lies ahead during a divorce.
As a psychologically-trained mediator, I help couples arrive at parenting
agreements that will keep you both out of court and your children happy too.
Consider the mediation process to civilly make decisions about your children
and to remain sane! Let me help keep your family happy and whole.
If you would like to discuss divorce, your children, custody, and visitation,
call me! I’m a good listener and happy to share some legal advice.
I encourage couples to put their children first, and try the amicable,
less stressful, less expensive path of mediation.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic all our
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are
conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk.
Continue to stay healthy and safe!
Call New York Divorce Lawyer Lois Brenner now to book your Free 1 Hour
We still have a few appointments available this week!