Staying Involved With Your Children During Divorce

Do you have children at home? Do you want to remain involved in their lives? Think carefully, because if you leave without your children, you may have chosen your destiny unthinkingly. Beware of establishing a pattern of not spending time with them even if it’s only as a result of renting a place where it’s not possible for children of their ages to stay overnight.

Are you having the great time that you feel you’ve deserved for all these years? If that doesn’t include much time with the children, you’re giving your ex-to-be fodder for her request for exclusive custody, along with the entitlement to child support that goes with it. She’ll also have the ammunition for letting the kids know that you left them, while she stayed with them.

My client Irv did a great job of handling this. He wasn’t able to get a decent place to live when he first moved out. He really didn’t have the money, and a housing bargain is not easy to find in our community. He used his parents’ place on weekends so his pre-school children could stay in familiar surroundings and "visit" with him. He was able to have the children for long weekends because his parents would help out if he had to work or simply wanted to go out for a while. He rearranged his workload, putting in long days during the week so he could be with his children from Friday afternoon until Monday morning. If something at work required that he stay a little longer at the office on Friday, his parents could cover for him.

Irv saved money by renting the bare minimum for himself to live in during the week. He looked around for a suitable place and finally found a home available at a reduced rate. He rented it and fixed up rooms for each of the children. By the time the divorce was settled, Irv had enough money to put a down payment on a place of his own. He helped make it happen by renting out a room. Irv’s children were the number one priority for him, and it showed. What Irv did for them was smart for Irv too.