Men often feel disadvantaged and even frightened when thinking about their custody rights in a divorce. There are persistent social myths that make fathers think they won’t possibly be able to secure shared custody.
On an individual basis, a father may be acutely aware of the fact that his spouse has been the one primarily parenting their children. Fathers definitely have unique challenges during divorces, including the two issues you may have to overcome explained below, but those shouldn’t stop dads from seeking shared custody.
Feeling like they aren’t competent to handle the children alone
By default, mothers are often the ones who handle the majority of child-rearing responsibilities. Mothers often take time off from their careers to take care of a child. They are also often the ones who read extensively about child development, pick the kids up from school when they have stomach aches and handle the family schedules.
At first, fathers may not feel competent during their parenting time, but they quickly learn how to fill the same role that their ex has played for the children if they commit themselves to learning the necessary skills.
Needing to find a way to balance kids with work
Having a spouse who stays home or works part-time makes it easier for you to be a parent without needing to sacrifice your career goals or income.
You may have to compromise your schedule and performance at work in minor ways immediately after your divorce, especially if you intend to equally share custody. Being able to leave to get your children from school and being available on the weekends may be a necessity that you cannot avoid.
Negotiating a parenting plan that reflects your work demands can make it easier for you to stand up for your rights as a father going through a divorce.