It’s been found that children can thrive after divorce when they are still connected to both parents. In many cases, this means that courts will now use joint custody instead of sole custody to ensure that children still see both of their parental figures. This often means that fathers who may have felt they had limited time with the kids in previous generations will now get to see them much more often.
That said, custody is not always 100% equal. Even if you share it with your ex, the children may live with her more than with you. How can you stay involved?
Focus on the time you do have
For one thing, you definitely want to focus on making the most of the time that you already get to spend with the children. Plan fun activities to do together. Be very intentional about how you interact. You may have less time with them, but you can certainly make more of it than just having the kids sit around your house.
Interact in other ways
Even when you’re not with the children, there may be other ways that you can interact with them. You could send them care packages or gifts. You could write letters or talk with them on the phone. In the modern world, it’s very common for fathers to talk with their children on FaceTime or Skype. These digital connections are not the same as getting to spend actual time together, but they can help you touch base and feel like you’re not drifting so far apart.
As you go through this entire process and plan on how to stay involved, make sure you are also well aware of your parental rights and the steps you can take to maximize the time with your children.