At the beginning of the divorce, many father will like to be friendly and kind at first. He even paid for co-parenting counseling in preparation for the new post-divorce parenting role. He will try to use reasonable logic to resolve he and his wife’s problems. He wish that the two will still be a good father and mother of their lovely children. In the early days of the discussion, everything seemed so peaceful.
The most touching part of the conversation might be crossing generations. This divorcing couple might try to learn from the previous generation’s marriage failure. The father will remind his divorcing wife of the problems of her family of origin and try not to repeat the same mistake to their children, who didn’t know their parents are already talking about divorce at this time.
However, I can reaffirm with you that this discussion will not be there after 1 year. The divorce usually doesn’t end up like the beginning. This is what makes men angry. They feel they have been cheated. They talked about peace at the beginning, but the friendliness was answered with a Temporary Restraint Order (TRO). He will see his ex-wife pouring tears in court and saying something violent and mistreating never happened to her.
Why co-parenting counseling doesn’t work to the wife?
Fathers don’t understand why the divorce can’t end well? Why can’t they be friends after divorce? Why doest his wife doesn’t want to do co-parenting counseling just for their children?
Yes, this is the key. Divorced couples are rarely true friends. The best you can do is becoming face friends who try to forget the scar wounds. Most of the wounds happened during and after the divorce, not before.
The main reason why divorced couples cannot be friends is the refusal of the ex-wives. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s just a natural difference between men and women. It’s something that men must know before he starts to discuss about divorce.
Men have to know, as soon as the girl loses feelings for them, she will try to get ride of any bondage tied to her. She is anxious to cut it off clean. Men usually don’t get that. Many men tried to maintain the bondage with their ex-wives. There was a divorce case where a father and his wife co-founded a successful company. When they discuss about divorce, the father was willing to co-run the company with his wife to continue the business. At his surprise, we told him to change his mind as post-divorce partnership is nearly impossible for women. After months, this was exactly what happens. The ex-wife not only refused to partnership, but she also even made an attempt to takeover the company under her total control. Fortunately, the husband was warned in advance (by us) beforehand, and he made arrangement first to prevent the takeover.
We all know that the best way is to break up peacefully. The best way is to take care of the children together. However, what we have observed is that men are more likely to learn from co-parenting counseling, women tend to cut it clean and refuse to share custody together. Such a cutting method may lead to faster recovery, but might complicate the post-divorce co-parenting schedules.
How should a father protect himself while being friendly?
Before all happens, the father believed he need to show more kindness. He want to be friendly to prevent his wife to do bad things against him. How can he be friendly to his wife while being protective against the attacking wife?
1. He must find a lawyer. We repeat, no matter how nice his conversion is going right now, it is highly recommended for a father to hire a lawyer! This might sound counterintuitive to him as he want to save money and avoid having some outsider join the dispute between him and his wife. He might even think he won’t be so “failed” to communicate with his wife. However, experience shows that he must first find a lawyer, and the lawyer will give him the correct step-by-step instruction for his next step towards divorce. If he are not yet divorcing, the lawyer can list things he must be careful about.
2. Avoid yielding more assets to wife than to himself. We have seen too many cases where the father divorced and left the house to his wife and children. He might even transfer the ownership to his wife to show he is of love and responsibility. After the house was transferred, he received a fake Temporary Restraint Order (TRO) from his wife, with whom he was just discussing divorce peacefully one week ago. The TRO makes the father no longer allowed to see his children. This father doesn’t even have a place to sleep and his finances are suddenly in trouble because he no longer has any mood to work. He starts to suffer depression, which is used by his wife again as a proof that the father is not suited to be the children’s caregiver. The father was left completely hopeless in life. So, don’t give his assets away to deprive him of the resources to care for his children and ex-wife in the future. Keep his resources intact by his side. He can think of it this way, if he want to treat his ex-wife kindly, wait until years after when he begins to give surprise financial “gifts” to her.
3. Take advantage now to put down contract. Since he and his wife is still in a friendly discussion, he should take advantage to put something down in black and white, not just verbal agreement. For example, they will each share half of the time with their children, but what is half? What are the dates to pick up children and where should he pick it up. If he does not get children, she can be fined. A divorce agreement is a contract under the civil law, and it is executed as it is signed between husband and wife. Take advantage of this peaceful time to write down the divorce agreement instead of creating a “good atmosphere” that will disappear at any time.
In short, there is no need to break the friendly atmosphere, but he must be ready for its breaking at any time. The most painful thing for a father is seeing his friendliness trampled on the ground, and seeing what he originally tried to show love gesture to turn into hatred. It will be a lot of pain. Please get prepared from the beginning.