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Men, fathers' rights and divorce

For several decades, there were certain presumptions about how mothers, fathers and children would be treated in an Ontario divorce. In essence, mothers were expected to be awarded primary custody of minor children, while fathers were expected to be awarded visitation rights. However, times are changing, and so are the perceptions of what is in the best interests of children -- as well as mothers and fathers -- when a divorce ends a marriage.

As a recent news article noted, fathers, in particular, need to take certain steps to ensure that they are treated fairly in the divorce process and in any disputes regarding child custody and support. For starters, fathers need to be able to take care of their own physical and mental health and stability first and foremost. In doing so, they will be able to make good decisions, without their thoughts being clouded by emotions.

Next, fathers need to keep their attention in the divorce case on the adult issues that need to be addressed. Involving the children, or even complaining about your soon-to-be ex-spouse in front of the children, will not make the divorce process any smoother for any of the parties involved. But, by the same token, it is important for fathers to realize that the emotions, thoughts or anger they feel toward their soon-to-be ex-wife may no longer be worth the energy. After all, the marriage is coming to an end, so it is best to start to move on as soon as possible.

Lastly, as solitary as men can be at times, it is important for fathers who are going through a divorce to lean on others, when needed. The support they receive from family members, friends and even other fathers in the community who have gone through the process can help them get through the difficulties that inevitably arise in divorce cases.

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