Divorce can be a grueling experience for both spouses. When children are involved, the stakes are even higher. But, often, the system seems to be stacked against divorcing fathers.
While divorce often leads to a better quality of life and a brighter future, many courts favor moms over dads regarding child custody and parenting time. Working with a family law attorney focused on fathers’ rights can help you prepare for the road ahead.
Most common obstacles for divorced dads
While many states have taken a more balanced approach to custody and co-parenting, gender bias remains strong in the Nebraska court system. That often leads to challenges in these areas:
- Family court system: Men are often relegated as the traditional “breadwinner,” while women are seen as the primary or custodial parent. While some fathers quit their jobs to care for their kids, many divorced dads feel shame asking for alimony and child support.
- Flawed child support system: Since fathers are less likely to gain sole custody of their children, they are more likely to be ordered to pay child support. While the goal is to provide an adequate level of care for their child, the system can be especially harsh on low-income fathers.
- Increased health risks: Divorce is one of the most stressful experiences for any person. Research shows men’s mortality rates increase after divorce and they are more at risk for developing high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, cancer, substance abuse and suicide.
- Lack of emotional support: Men are less likely to seek much-needed mental help from friends or family members after divorce, and researchers say that translates into having more difficulty recovering. Many times, couples shared the same social circle, and those friendships go away.
Acknowledge the challenges
Perhaps the most critical takeaway for dads is recognizing that these adversities exist and to take pro-active measures to keep them from getting a foothold in their future. Working with a lawyer who understands a father’s rights when it comes to divorce, custody and support issues can be a crucial step in setting a positive foundation for your new life.