Most Common Mistakes Made by Fathers During a Divorce

Every father makes mistakes going through divorce, but learning from others can minimize the number and damage of the mistakes you make. Here are the most common mistakes made by fathers during a divorce.

1. Becoming Angry and/or Abusive

The courts often side against angry men; they almost always rule against abusive men. Keep your cool, don’t yell and never become violent.

2. Moving Out Before Being Ordered to

If you move out and you’re wife gets a personal protection order against you, you’re chances of getting back in are greatly reduced. Plus, you’ll be incurring costs for rent and expenses somewhere else. If you don’t have a quality place to live, you may be denied visitation rights with the kids during the proceedings. The parent in the home will usually be granted physical custody during the divorce.

3. Using the Kids as Pawns

Do your best to keep the children out of the middle of the conflict. Don’t try to win their favor or convince them that you are in the right. Don’t air your wifes dirty laundry to the kids. Do all you can to protect their emotional well-being through a very tough time for them.

4. Failing to Protect your Assets

If you’ve got joint credit cards with large amounts of credit on them, freeze them if possible, or take out the credit in cash. Keep a close eye on joint accounts that you’e got money in. Keep tabs on any money she withdraws from a joint bank account or from life insurance with a cash value.

At, they suggest you don’t stick your head in the sand and to, “Make sure you read every financial statement and are aware of every investment that you have with your spouse,” said Stacy Phillips, divorce attorney and founding partner at Phillips, Lerner and Lauzon LLP. “Be educated and don’t be naive, if something doesn’t look right, investigate.”

5. Fighting over Everything

One of the biggest mistakes a father can make during a divorce is fighting over everything. The more contentious the divorce becomes, the more the attorneys make and the more everyone else loses financially and emotionally. Be as agreeable as you can be and the divorce proceedings won’t be any more painful than they have to be.

6. Failing to Have a Good Attorney

Having an experienced divorce attorney who abides by your wishes is invaluable. Avoid grandstanding attorneys who want to take your wife to the cleaners. Those types are the ones who benefit financially from that strategy, rarely their clients.

7. Getting Involved Romantically

Don’t even think about dating again until the divorce has been finalized. Don’t have women around when your kids are with you, especially overnight. This is a common tactic used to deny you of your parental rights and could bias the court against you.

8. Pulling Away from your Children

During a divorce, you may be hurt, angry or depressed. You might feel like shutting out the world. Resist that urge especially where it comes to the kids. Spend time with them, more time than usual if possible since they’ll need you more than ever. Be at their games and concerts as always. Keep being a good Dad, you and your kids will benefit greatly.

9. Spying on your Wife

Once you are separated, don’t read her email, open her mail or listen to her voicemail. Don’t follow her surreptitiously. Do not record phone conversations with your wife if you live in a 2-party state in which both parties must agree to the recording.

10. Refusing to Consider Mediation

Mediation involves a third-party mediator well-versed in the issues of divorce. A mediated divorce can dramatically cut attorney fees incurred as well as reduce the emotional devastation often caused by divorce. Divorce mediation, according to, should be voluntary, flexible and both parties should be willing to complete the entire process by being open to communication and discussion.

While going through a divorce is always painful, avoiding these common mistakes made by fathers during a divorce will pave the way for the best possible outcome.