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Tips for New York dads going through divorce

Divorcing dads often wind up feeling like they take on secondary roles as parents in their children's lives. Below are some tips to help insure that you remain a vital part of their lives even after a divorce.

-- To increase chances of shared custody of or liberal visitation with your kids, move into your own apartment where they feel welcome and are secure. Avoid couch-surfing with friends or moving in with a new love and lease your own place, even if it's small.

-- Establish common ground with your kids. Maybe you both like to cheer for the Yankees or have a passion for playing music together or seeing art films. Whatever it is, find a common interest you can share with them and strengthen your bond.

-- Establish a routine and stick with it. Maybe you can face-time or Skype every night before bedtime or share a quick morning chat before heading off to work and school. But once you commit to something, honor it. Never leave your child waiting for a phone call that never comes.

-- Separate your love life from your family life. Your children don't need to meet each woman you date. It only confuses them when the person is replaced by another new friend. Wait until the relationship is serious before making any introductions.

-- Be yourself, the dad they know and love. Weekend fathers sometimes feel that they have to go to extraordinary lengths to beef up their time with their kids. It's not necessary to hit Coney Island every weekend. Your kids appreciate Dad time even if it's home-cooked pancake breakfasts and snuggles on the couch.

If you feel that you are getting short shrift as a parent in ongoing custody negotiations, ask your family law attorney to address this issue with the courts.

Source: Families Online Magazine, "10 Tips for Being a Father After a Divorce," Eric Rush, accessed July 01, 2015

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