Michigan fathers may dread divorce first and foremost because of its potential to impact their relationships with their children. Going from being a full-time father to a part-time parent can be a serious emotional and logistical challenge. This is one factor that works to keep parents stuck in relationships and marriages long after they would have otherwise chosen divorce. There are options for fathers, however, to help to make the parenting road after divorce a smoother ride.
When fathers come into their divorce discussions with knowledge and preparation, this can play a significant role in helping to bolster their ongoing and deep parental relationship with their children. Shaping a parenting plan or custody agreement can help both parents decide on sole, joint or shared custody as well as the mechanics and timing of visitation or shared living situations. The proper choice can vary for each individual family, of course, but knowing about the options can make a huge difference when establishing a custody schedule baseline.
Parents who are divorcing can work together with their lawyers to set up a parenting plan to bring before the judge. Reflecting their mutual agreement, this plan can be approved by the court so long as it abides by state law and reflects the best interest of the child. Even the best parenting plan, however, is just the first step to productively managing these issues. Parents who can be flexible, share information and jointly handle medical, educational and extracurricular needs of their children can be a major benefit.
Divorce doesn’t have to mean an interruption of a father’s relationship with his children. Consulting a child custody attorney can help a father to develop a mutual parenting plan or work vigorously to advocate for his rights to custody, visitation and access to his children.