Fathers, be mindful of what you do during divorce

Many divorcing fathers in Minnesota want to keep in contact with their children but when the split happens, those same men worry about losing custody. Fathers' rights ensure a fair determination process, but this has not stopped the perception that women will likely be the ones placed in full custody of the kids.

If you are a dad that wants to keep custody of your kids, you should take some precautions during the divorce process. First and foremost, do not show off your new life. It is normal to cope and move on after a split from a spouse, and this often entails finding a new intimate partner. If a judge finds out about such an individual, that's fine, but do your best not to go around telling the whole world. The inclusion of a new person-or a succession of new people-in your children's lives could cause a judge to perceive your life as unstable. This may sway the custody determination out of your favor.

Be sure not to act poorly on social networking sites or the Internet in general. Much of what is done online is out in the open for everyone to see, including your spouse's attorneys. This information can be used against you as well and may leave you looking like someone you are not. Remember, judges listen to arguments and look at evidence to determine what is best for the children. If you are cast in a negative light, it could determine the permanent location of the kids.

Do not bad mouth your spouse. In divorce cases, spouses are known to be at odds with one another. One may egg the other one on to say things that she or he may not truly mean. It could be an instigated statement of anger that may later cause regret. Such statements can be construed as threats to a judge and may leave you without even partial custody of the children.

Source: Huffington Post, "The Male Side of Divorce: What Men Need to Know," Silvana D. Raso, Aug. 7, 2012

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