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Houston Divorce Blog

What to do if you just found out you are a father

If you are a father to a child born out of wedlock, you can face many challenges to building a meaningful, ongoing relationship with your child. For instance, some dads only learn that they are parents months or even years after the birth of their children. This knowledge often comes in the form of a court order for support for these children, either generated by their mothers or by governmental agencies involved with the families.

That can be jarring, to say the least. Instead of the happy anticipation of their children's births, these fathers have been denied that, as well as the right to bond with the babies soon after they are born.

Building a connection as a non-custodial father

If you are a father who has had limited time with your child, you may feel that there is a lack of a connection between the two of you. This may further discourage you from fighting for custody, because you may believe that your child does not need you in their life. This is a common issue for many fathers who were not present in the first months or years of a child's life.

However, it is important to remember that children always benefit from the love and support of their biological parents. If you want to be a present father, it can be possible to build a bond over time.

Top 5 co-parenting tips for newly divorced parents

Your divorce is finally in the books and it's time to turn your attention toward co-parenting. You hope to make all the right decisions at the right time, as doing so will result in less stress and tension on your children.

While the co-parenting process differs from one parent to the next, there are some general tips you can follow to put yourself on the right track from day one.

  • Don't make it all about you: Co-parenting starts with doing what's best by your children. And even though it's difficult, you should also think about the feelings of your ex-spouse. When you keep everyone's best interests in mind, it's easier to make the most of co-parenting.
  • Keep a flexible schedule: There will be times when your ex asks to adjust their schedule, such as if they have visitation rights. And just the same, you'll probably need to make changes every now and again. A flexible schedule is a big part of co-parenting success. Without this, you can guarantee yourself of future arguments.
  • Don't fight about everything: As frustrated as you may be, it's critical that you keep your cool, when possible, and choose your battles wisely. If you let everything turn into a fight, you'll never settle into a co-parenting routine.
  • Never put your children in the middle: Your children don't need to hear about the reason for your divorce, why their other parent is a bad person or how you did nothing wrong. If you need to talk about your feelings with someone, chat with an adult friend or counselor.
  • Continue to communicate: As much as you don't want to communicate post-divorce, you have to do so for the sake of your children. Find a communication tool that suits the both of you, such as text messaging, email, phone calls or even face-to-face conversations.

3 ways social media may harm your divorce

Before receiving their medical licenses, doctors must pledge to not harm their patients. If contemplating a divorce, you may want to take a similar approach. That is, you do not want to do anything that harms your chances of receiving either your fair share of marital property or custody of your children. 

Social media has become increasingly popular in recent years. While there is nothing inherently wrong with posting to your social media accounts, some posts may complicate your divorce. Here are three ways your online presence may make the dissolution of your marriage more difficult: 

Could you be making one of the disastrous divorce mistakes?

Filing for divorce is an emotionally-charged action that can lead to repercussions that the parties will experience for years to come. That's why it is so important to make all the right moves to get the best possible outcome going forward.

With that in mind, below are some potentially disastrous mistakes that couples make when filing for divorce. Being aware of these can help you to avoid them in your own divorce process.

Review your prenuptial agreement carefully for weaknesses

Many people create prenuptial agreements to avoid the possibility of a messy divorce and to establish powerful legal protections before they marry. Whether a couple has significant assets or is simply planning for future success, a strong prenuptial agreement can keep a marriage strong in difficult times and make divorce a simpler, streamlined process if a marriage dissolves.

However, not all prenuptial agreements are valid. If an agreement includes vague wording or is not created carefully, then its protections may not hold up to scrutiny. If you face divorce and have a prenuptial agreement, it is important to review your agreement carefully. Your spouse will almost certainly review the agreement carefully as well, and may challenge the agreement in court if it has weaknesses.

What is a "parenting marriage" (and why you might want one)

Many couples in long-term marriages discover that the romance in their relationship has permanently left the building. Yet, it can be quite difficult to reconcile their present state of discontent and disconnection with filing for divorce.

This is especially true when the spouses are parents of minor children. Even in the "best" divorces where the former spouses agree to co-parent their children together civilly, it's a fact that you will not be able to spend as much quality time with your kids once you divorce. So, what can these couples do?

Maintaining your relationship with your kids post-divorce

After they divorce, noncustodial parents who are not in regular possession of their children can struggle to remain connected to them. The problem many fathers face in these situations is that they may become increasingly estranged from their kids and not know how to get back on track.

Whatever the reasons for the estrangement — parental alienation by the child's other parent, distance, the child's resentment — the longer it goes on, the more challenging it is to mend the breach.

Divorce later in life brings some unique challenges

Perhaps you are contemplating ending your marriage after 20 or even 30 years. You and your spouse have entered the second half of your lives and now face some unique challenges.

Establishing two households and dividing an accumulation of assets may seem more daunting now than if you were still young with plenty of earning years in front of you.

3 financial considerations to make for divorce

It is a myth that half of all marriages end in divorce. In fact, millennials have caused the divorce rate to decline in Texas and around the country in recent years due to them marrying when they are older.

However, no matter how good a marriage seems, many couples still end up divorcing eventually. It is a big decision, one that you do not want to take lightly. Therefore, you need to make sure your financial accounts are in order before filing for divorce so you do not cause further stress. 

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