Surprising things that divorced single dads learn

As Father's Day approaches, it seems like a good time to look at the unexpected challenges that divorced dads face. Whether you have primary custody of your children or you share custody with your ex, you will be spending a significant amount of time as a single dad.

Fathers who blog about being single dads recently shared some of the things that surprised them the most -- for better or worse -- as they embarked on this journey. Their insights can help newly-separated or divorced dads as they embark upon their changed relationship with their kids.

-- Being divorced can make you a better parent. Dads with shared custody often find that having time away from their kids gives them a greater appreciation of their time together. This makes them more patient, caring fathers.

-- You will likely be exhausted. Spending all day at work and then being the sole adult caring for a child can tire out even a young dad. Your child will, and probably should, be your only social life while you are the custodial parent.

-- Don't expect to be treated like a superhero. Gone are the "Mr. Mom" days when people (particularly women) marveled at a man taking care of his own children. You may be proud of yourself, and rightfully so, but don't expect congratulations from others. In fact, many single dads find that people give their ex-wives credit for things they actually did, such as buying clothing for their kids.

-- You will miss your children when they're with your ex. On the days when you don't have your kids, be prepared to be thinking and worrying about them and missing them.

-- Being a single dad is the hardest and most rewarding job you'll ever have.

Fortunately for fathers going through a divorce today, courts no longer automatically assume that kids are better off with their mothers as primary or sole caregivers. If you and your spouse aren't able to work out a custody agreement that you're happy with and the matter goes before a New York judge, he or she is tasked with determining what's in the best interests of your children. Your family law attorney can work to help you make the case that remaining an integral part of their lives is best for them.

Source: Huffington Post, "12 Things No One Ever Tells You About Being A Single Dad," Brittany Wong, June 13, 2016

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