What It's Really Like for Many Fathers After a Separation or Divorce


1) His rights are heavily dependent on cooperation from the kids' mother

What It's Really Like for Many Fathers After a Separation or Divorce

Fathers are often illegally denied even court-mandated visitation. A father can't simply file a police complaint if he's denied visitation. He has to go through the court system and even then may not get compliance from his ex.

2) The level of mandated child support can be arbitrary

What It's Really Like for Many Fathers After a Separation or Divorce

Judges have discretion to alter the amount and may not care what a father can actually afford in an economy where employment is often temporary or project-based. In Germany, a fictional income can be assigned to a father based on his educational level that may not bear any resemblance to the reality of his potential income and he may be told he has to take another job. In addition, if he lives with a new girlfriend, the amount of money he can keep for himself can in some cases be reduced to as little as $970 a month.

3) He may have to move away from where his kids live to find work or due to a lack of affordable housing

What It's Really Like for Many Fathers After a Separation or Divorce

This is linked to #2, and may also mean the loss of a visa and therefore access to his kids. Being a long distance away from your children means you don't see them as often and makes even limited visitation more difficult due to transportation costs and an inability to bring kids into a shared living arrangement for a visit (or one that is too small). If you share an apartment with three other adult men, is that an ideal place to bring your kids for a visit?

4) Work schedules may also not align with the children's vacations.

What It's Really Like for Many Fathers After a Separation or Divorce

This is especially true if he has to work two jobs or work overseas to be able to pay child support.

5) He may be falsely accused of abandoning his kids or not caring about them

What It's Really Like for Many Fathers After a Separation or Divorce

We've recently seen this here on GAG, and it happens not infrequently. There is a tendency to ignore the father's perspective because the mother is considered to be the more vulnerable party after a breakup. This is not always true, especially in an era in which women often earn more than the father of their children even before child support is paid and have a better support system.

I can tell you for a fact that being away from your kids has a huge emotional effect on you and is not something most fathers want or don't care about.

Please try to bear in mind what I have explained here before you judge a father who isn't living right next door to his kids after a breakup.

What It's Really Like for Many Fathers After a Separation or Divorce
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Blitzkrieg_88
    Women when they choose to divorce can be completely ruthless and mercenary. Often a woman will have planned it all out with lawyers a few years before sizing up his assets, savings, property, shares, bonds and even waiting for any inheritance he may come into. A woman will often make up domestic abuse claims. She may get a friend to rough her up then take pictures, visit a hospital so it's documented. Another one is to instigate a domestic abuse incident by first calling the cops from a bathroom and then assaulting and verbally abusing her husband hoping that he will hit her and when the cops arrive all they see is an angry abusive husband and a poor little wife being abused. Regardless they will remove the husband from the family home even when they know she is the problem. He gets locked up for a night or two and she goes and raids his bank accounts, makes out his credit cards, sells or dumps his stuff, changes the locks and gets a restraining order. She will also she for full custody of their kids so she can keep the family home and so she has the child support coming in with the alimony. A buddy of mine got screwed over by the court system and just moved to Thailand.What It's Really Like for Many Fathers After a Separation or DivorceWhat It's Really Like for Many Fathers After a Separation or Divorce
    Is this still revelant?
  • aaronbw
    This is an excellent testimony. More people need to see both sides of the story here. I grow tired of people claiming that the father moved because he doesn't care or is a deadbeat.
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Girls

  • BrittBratt2416
    I agree, they need to make it more fair for fathers, especially fathers who do want to stick around and raise their children. I wouldn't want to the type of woman who makes it harder for your ex to have a relationship with his children. I think women who do that aren't thinking, cause they are just to upset and trying to get revenge out of hurt/anger.
    Is this still revelant?
  • Dav1ss
    I don't think il ever be able to understand how hard that is fully I'm not a man but it's horrible it is this way and I belive equal responsibility should be shared post divorce and if I knew a father who was struggling that much after a divorce id try to help
    Is this still revelant?
    • Badballie

      Trust me divorced women ARE evil. They become greedy bitches and hate, you forever.

    • Dav1ss

      @Badballie maybe but I don't think I'd marry if I had doubts and again I've encouraged a friend I had to understand him in the divorce and they divorced in great terms like now I'd call them friends

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • OlderAndWiser
    I have absolutely no knowledge of how divorce laws are applied in Germany, but what you described is very contrary to how divorce laws are applied in Florida.

    1. "His rights are heavily dependent on cooperation from the kids' mother." In Florida, a final judgment of divorce with minor children contains a detailed schedule for visitation, including holidays, birthdays, Father's Day and Mother's Day, spring break, summer vacation, etc. A parent's refusal to cooperate with the established plan can serve as grounds for them to have their visitation rights restricted.

    2. "The level of mandated child support can be arbitrary." In Florida, child support is calculated according to a formula and whatever is ordered by the court or agreed to by the parties must be within five percent of the calculated amount.

    3. "He may have to move away from where his kids live to find work or due to a lack of affordable housing." What was the father doing for work before the divorce and why, after the divorce, does he need to move away? There may be occasional circumstances where an employer closes a work site, relocates a job to another location, etc., but most jobs that people do are available in the city where they reside. If not, and a relocation is necessary, we have an alternate visitation plan when the parents live more than 250 miles apart. The non-custodial parent can get all of the summer vacation every year plus a majority of other breaks that last more than 3-4 days, such as spring break and Christmas break.

    4. "Work schedules may also not align with the children's vacations." In Florida, work schedules are taken into account in formulating visitation plans.

    5. "He may be falsely accused of abandoning his kids or not caring about them." There is no way to prevent yourself from being falsely accused of being neglectful. All that you can do is to commit yourself to being a good father and knowing in your heart that you have given your best effort.
    • Avicenna

      It can be quite a bit different in Germany. First of all, quite a few fathers are self-employed and have a particularly hard time finding a new place to live, especially when they're still on the old lease because their former partner and the landlord must also agree to release him from it. Self-employed means income isn't steady and landlords don't like that.
      Summer vacation from school varies from one German state to another.

      My most recent ex (who makes up so much stuff I am beginning to wonder if she is a pathological liar) erroneously claimedz that I had 50-50 custody with my kids' mother. That is definitely not the case and I would not is a child support if they were with me half the time.

      German family court are no friends of fathers, especially foreign fathers. That's the reality. I'm currently prevented from seeing my kids by their mother (I'm only allowed an occasional brief Skype call) and since I have written proof that she is preventing visitation, I think my most recent ex is, as usual, mistaken when she claims my kids will hate me (she actually knows better).

    • Linda625


  • madamina
    The laws give too much power to the women in my country. This has caused many man to end up with major mental health issues aside from being financially raped. How men are treated is beyond me that it is LEGAL. Children deserve a relationship with their father. The breakdown in the family unit has resulted in a generation of lost children without appropriate discipline.
  • Bananaman177
    The government doesn't really favor women more than men, it's just that it's easier for them to get their cut of the man's money by letting the woman stick the knife in.

    If the woman has more money than the man, then SHE is more likely to lose it in the divorce.

    Divorce is a billion dollar industry in this country.
    • Avicenna

      She won't necessarily lose it in the divorce (certainly isn't my experience).

    • No, not in the divorce itself, but they know that a pile of money is easier to swindle from a woman than a man in the long run.

      That's why their first goal is to transfer money out of the hands of men and into the hands of women. Women spend money like a naked Comanche on Saturday night, and they also have the effect of making men become much more spendthrift than usual. But in addition, the more money a woman HAS, the more money a man needs to spend to impress her, so in all ways it is extremely profitable to transfer as much money as possible from men to women, generally speaking. And if there are exceptions to that rule, then they are beneficial in the long run as well. It makes it much harder for an observer to notice the pattern, and harder for them to convince others with facts and evidence. Since there is ample evidence to contradict all arguments.

      They aim to win in the aggregate, not just in individual cases. These people aren't young bulls who run down and fuck one cow, they're old bulls who walk down and fuck 'em all.

  • Daniela1982
    My view is men get screwed in divorces most of the time. Women get vindictive and try and tighten the screws even more.
  • Massageman
    Good points. My one brother-in-law got worked over by his first wife, a borderline personality/ bi-polar freak who destructs men one at a time--kind of a serial, monogamous viper. She is on husband #4 at this point and seems to have plenty of money to do whatever she wants to do. Except be respectful to prior husbands.
    • Avicenna

      Ugh! These BPD types sure do ruin their partners' lives. I'm glad my BPD ex is in the rear view mirror.

  • MajesticTwelve
    The courts are very gynocentric. It's a shame, because justice is supposed to be blind.
    It rarely is though.
    • Family court is different than criminal court; justice is not served in Family court.

  • Rosea
    Some women use that channel to extract money from their man, most especially those whom their husband is rich they pretend to love for some year before they execute their plans.
  • hisokadb
    Wwll my uncle is divorced and has to kids , when i asked him how it is to be divorced he told me with a low voice it just the end of ur meaning of life at 50 years old after ur family was seperated , i felt that too , really sad
  • leahzrc
    My mom fuck my dad over big time and i hate that woman
    • I'm sorry to hear that, she sounds selfish. Some women are amazingly considerate of the children and try to make peace for sake of family. Others not so much. It is hard to know though what their relationship was like and what is really going on, I don't think kids get to see the full picture unless they are in therapy sessions. Reality may be she is quite ill emotionally. Not your fault... you don't own that...

    • leahzrc

      my mom tried to convince me that he ruined the family when the stupid bitch did it

    • so she cheated? sometimes it's simple, sometimes it is not so simple as there is a dynamic... but either way, sounds like she made big mistake. I'm sorry. Relationships sometimes are just hard and people are really... selfish... untrained... corrupted... these days, maybe moreso than ever.

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  • SexyAshh
    This is great but dont think there's a need to prove you're a good dad to your kids.

    I dont personally know the situation but i think we all know your ex (on here at least) and can vouch you were not the issue.
  • LuvTooRimU
    12 years of marraige, 2 dating, 2 kids. I was devastated. AWe had problems - 4 different counselors, tried to tell her she was wqrong (in front of me). Each time she would insist I had 'hoodwinked' them and storm out. I was wqarned by a neighbor lady, to keep an eye on her, because something was brewing between her and another guy. I had bathed my sons every time, always tucked them in bed, sang to them, read them stories. Played with them a lot. They were first hidden from me. I broke down. Spent 10 days in the hospital loony bin, due to depression, and then over 25 years with weekly bisits to a Psychiatrist. She lied to my friends (some decades old) lied to her family. I was shunned by all. I had had long term physical ailments, and had to take numrous meds to stay alive. She referred to it to my friends as 'our problems all started when I began "taking all the drugs"' ... there is so much more but, ;let me sum up. She denied me visitation at every chance. She scheduled their activities, so as to interfere with my time.
    I lost my reputation, my social and business status (it had been quite high). I lost all of my money - including pension, 401K, Ira's - plus 80% of my income for 18 months, and 30% of it for 16 years after that.
    You want an insight? Listen to Zack Browns 'Highway 20 Ride'.
  • foriWish
    Well since the father won't be with the mother, the kids will most likely get other step parents. Depending on which parent the children like most or who they blame for the divorce, they will treat the parent accordingly and piss off the other.

    Overall, every situation is different so everyone who makes such bold opinions, is flawed
    • Gavyn

      No this was pretty much my dad

  • lightbulb27
    not a reality I've been through, thankfully. The ones I have seen, the father had good access. But I know it does happen and if the woman is vindictive... trouble. Guys get torn up in this stuff sometimes and they lack the social support resources and often respect in the system. No wonder the Bible says "you are going to suffer" when talking about marriage. Sad... not always the case, some relationships really work. Piss woman off, or if she's difficult or hormonal challenge... god help him... Some of this can be the mans' doing, but not always. I know really good guys shredded by emotionally off women.
    • Avicenna

      Exactly. And my most recent ex knew this was the case with my kids' mother, so the most recent ex had no business saying what she did.

    • yes you two are really whacking each other in the knees. I get the sense trust broke, but emotions are like dye... they color everything a different shade. Whose projecting onto whom is lost... After I learned more of how the mind works and how we create our reality (it's projected from our mind), I don't believe all what I hear.

    • Avicenna

      I've caught her making countless inaccurate or blatantly false statements. I can only imagine what nonsense she's propagating via DMs.

      She was so clueless she didn't even realize how much I loved her despite constantly being told she was special, I was lucky to have her, how much I loved her, how beautiful she was, etc., and getting all sorts of attention, companionship, taken out to dinner, and so on.

    • Show All
  • Fiiggy
    I've seen it first hand with close friends of mine. The courts will almost always side with the mother whether she's reasonable or a vindictive psycho. If the mom goes as far as poisoning the kid against the dad you've basically lost your kid until you can afford a high priced lawyer.
    Seriously guys don't get married, there's little benefit to it.
  • Tim-loves-it
    i have divorced once but I didn't have kids with her.
    Otherwise my big problem would be if the kids were really young, having them call the new guy, "Dad."
    • Avicenna

      I don't think that happens very much.

    • Thats good. but now my kids are aware who their Dad is

  • Smoothshave
    Fathers Have Equal Rights, And Have Equal Say Just As The Mother Does...
    Most People Automatically Assume All Rights Go To The Mother And The Father Must Agree To Her Wants And Needs For Their Children, And Have No Say If She Decides To Move Away From The Childrens Father...
    100% False...
    Both Father And Mother Must Mutually Agree Where The Children Live, Every State Has A Reasonable Distance That Father And Mother Are Allowed To Live Apart, Each State Has A Specific Distance, Usually No More Than 40 - 50 Miles, That Is Law...
    Many Women Illegally Take The Fathers Children Away Far Beyond The Reasonable Distance Or To Another State Without The Fathers Permission... This Is Called Kidnapping, If The Father Knew His Rights, He Could Charge The Mother With Kidnapping, But Most Men Are Too Stupid To Know Their Rights...
    My Kids Mother Tried This, I Told Her If She Removed The Kids From The Only Home They Have Ever Known, I Will Have Her Arrested For Kidnapping, She Thought She Had All Rights And Laughed, But Decided To Call The Police, Who Quickly Confirmed That I Am 100% Correct...
    She Never Argued Again, She Packed Her Things And Moved 1000 Miles Away, Where She Had Intended On Taking My Kids...
    Without Argument She Signed Court Documents That I Prepared In Self Help At Family Court, Without Question, Without A Single Day In Court, No Lawyers And $75.00 Later, I Received Sole Custody Of My Kids, And They Never Heard From Her Again For 10 Years...
    Now At The Time Of Filling Out Court Documents, We Mutually Agreed On Her Visitations, Which Was The Courts Recommendation Due To The 1,000 Mile Distance She Was Moving To (Every Other Holiday, Every Other Christmas, Birthdays, Summer, ETC) All At Her Expense... In The End She Never Exercised That Right Or Agreement To See Them...
    My Daughter Was So Young, She Had No Idea What A Mother Is...
    Their Mother Never Called Or Returned Calls, No Birthday Cards/Gifts, Christmas Cards/Gifts...
    I Was Also Given Child Support, Which Was Garnished From Her Wages And Automatically Put Into My Bank Account Every 2 Weeks... After A Few Years, She Decided To Not Work Anymore And Live Off Her Husbands Income, Family Court Got Tired Of Her Bullshit After 2 Years Of Not Paying Child Support, They Took Her To Court And Successfully Sued Her, They Pressed Full Charges Against Her, Where The Judge Sternly Gave Her An Ultimatum...
    1. Go To Jail Today, For Disobeying Court Orders
    2. Or You Have 7 Days To Get A Job, On The 8TH Day, You Will Go To Jail If You Do Not Secure Gainful Employment
    3. If You Decide To Switch Jobs, You Must Immediately Contact The Court, You Have 7 Days To Secure Another Job To Avoid Jail...
    Not Only Does She Have To Pay Current Child Support, But Back Child Support From The Two Years Of Not Working...
    Don’t Ever Think The Father Has No Rights, Myself And Many Other Fathers Have Proven That To Be 100% False...
    Don’t Ever Take Your Children Away From Their Father, You Will Go To Jail, If He Knows His Rights... Sadly, Many Fathers Are Convinced By A Dishonest Ex That He Has No Rights, And His Rights As A Father Is Not Explained To Him By Anyone Involved...
    • sande102

      Shit... divorced dads... nah. Gets much worse.
      None of my fella brothers out there have a child born out of wedlock?
      Loving fathers who later have to face scorned mom 4 years down the line cuz she just up and decides, ur not gonna b seeing ur son or daughter anymore...
      Found myself in this position...
      And trust me, I had nothin! She had every damn right to do as she pleased.
      rights as Dad. 4 the unwed ARE nearly nonexistent until u have a court order establishing paternity...
      I can continue on where this went if anyone's interested

    • Smoothshave

      @sande102 Non Existent? Not True, No Mother Can Decide That The Children Will Never See Their Father Again... No Mother Can Move The Children To Another State Without The Fathers Permission, In Fact Most States Have Less Than 50 Mile Max That Parents Can Live From Each Other...
      You And Your Friends Need To Stand Up For Your Rights As Fathers...
      I Have Never Been Married To My Childrens Mother, I Have Sole Custody, And I Have Never Step Foot Into A Court Room, Never Spoke To A Lawyer... Be Smart, Do Your Research, Visit Self Help Center At Family Court...

    • Avicenna

      @Smoothshave: I don't know what state you're in, but my kids live in Germany, and a father's access to his kids can and all too often does get blocked. No German court is going to award a foreign father custody of German kids resident on Germany, especially if it means them having to move.

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  • SomeGuyCalledTom
    It reminds me of how black men get incarcerated in the U. S. prison system just so the state can use them as free labour. It's functional slavery, the state only wants men to work and pay taxes until we drop dead.
  • ShadowofRegret
    I myself had experienced this kind of thing before, not as the father, but as the child, it is appalling how biased the court system is against men, and it was not even my mother who was trying to take advantage of the system.
  • Bensbrie
    My mom stayed with my father for my brothers and my sake... but.. it hasn't been a dream lol.. oh well.. at least he doesn't talk to me all the time.. that's a perk!
  • Gedaria
    The first wife walked out on us, it made things easy in respects. Everything was in my name do sold up and bought a house where I could work from home. The daughters thought it was great there not being there her being such disruptive force...
  • Annie12234
    My real father was abusive and never pay child support or anything. Never seen him again ever. So... yep.
    • that's awful to hear, if dad's only knew how important they are. I'm sorry, not your fault he had problems.

    • After reading number 5, who knows?

    • Yeah, thank you @lightbulb27 yeah it’s awful to hear. My Dad doesn’t really care about how important. I hope it’s not my fault.

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  • WarDaddy1969
    The question isn't about kids to me. Now myself I got sad depressed I wondered if I caused our divorce. i could have my kid anytime I chose to we shared never fought over it I paid child support its expected. Then my son turned 14 i got custody i didn't get support. Didn't need it.
  • JP_Man
    I lived it. I don't think it's 100% fair the way things are. I have always been present for my kids and had to pay expenses. E. g. I had to pay for vacations in Panama when I could not afford a week off work.
  • broncobryan
    Yeah I think that the kids should be left out of a divorse completely. If he wants to spend time with his kids then it should be 50/50 joint custody. And this abandoning bullshit, guys get this all the time and all they want is to leave the wife not the kids. And by the time he's to that point he's ready to strangle her ass. So it's either leave or kill a bitch literally.
  • LowSelfSteem
    My parents split up when I was born and he only came around to pay childfare. As for my daugthers farther if I had it my way I would write him of her birth cerficate.
  • markscott
    People who are close to me have had divorces. I know that they can get very nasty, and lies can be told. I also understand that guys often don't get a fair shake when it comes to the kids Though I've know where the woman doesn't either. But either way, if someone father's a child, it is their responsibility. It doesn't matter if the woman goes to the south pole. It is still their child, and they have responsibility for it. Of course, the courts often do a poor job of allowing parental rights for me, and this needs to be changed. But the child needs to be cared for, no matter what.
  • WhiteShoulder
    I don't know anything about this subject. But thank you for inviting me.
  • backdoorman
    Sadly, I have known many fathers who have gone through this and they have all suffered from some or all of what you wrote about here.
  • Dchrls78104
    I've been all of this happen to men in my country. I've even heard of a man who had to pay child support when the child wasn't even his.
  • FatherJack
    In my case , I acted very swiftly , after I could not take anymore from my ex wife. She was lazy , in a constant foul mood , petty , childish and complained constantly , blaming everyone else for her own failings... you can see why I dumped her !! I packed up her stuff and took her back to her parents , and took custody of my now teen kids. Despite the drawbacks of being a single parent and reduced income and a more restricted life , I am far happier. This experience has put me off ever allowing a woman into my life , other than strictly arms length platonic friends.
  • October808
    All possible scnarios. My parents were divorced. Mom accused him of being a poor husband. He lived a few miles away and used to pick us up after school on the way home from work. We spent the weekends at his house. Mom had full custody of my sister and I. They used to argue sometimes. He paid child support. Mom's gone now. She said in her final days that she wished she had been nicer to him. I always wanted them to remarry but it never happened. She remarried, her husban died. He remarried, he got divorced. Then he remarried and from that we have another brother and sister. Mom's death automatically annuled their marriage and he was able to receive communion again. Divorces suck.
  • bulletbob555
    Yes its all true. Child support is enforced by state but no one enforces visitation
  • Badballie
    I will just say, after a divorce, the x wife is like crazy women from HELL, will use your kids against you. Evilness from them is beyond description, mine had an affair with my close friend. I asked her does his 4 inch penis satisfy YOU? She went hysterical, I have a larger than average penis, so I added if she ever wanted a good fuck she could call me. Hell hath no fury like a scorned women. LOL LOL It was very hard, but 25 years down the line, she did me a favour, as my daughter in law said "X" eat my new wifes DUST. For the last 20 years I have a wonderful beautiful wife, very HOT package.
  • crazy8000
    Read up on your rights first hand and her's there you live. don't take people words for it since to many assume and signs away their rights due to assumptions, even some lawyers gives inaccurate info about this.
    Manipulative males that is narcissists and psychopaths issues the system that makes the mother loose custody.
    If the system notice that she tries to alienate the children from the father she looses even contact rights for a period of time. this happens especially if the judge finds it necessary to put the children in reconnection programs for fathers.

    This Is thing's I stumbled in to when looking for info about narcissists. applies to big parts of USA and Canada.
  • pizzalovershouse
    it an be good or bad depending on if you both don't see eye to eye on what's best for kids
  • DWornock
    It is not that bad. If it was, men would stop marrying.
    • Avicenna

      This applies to all fathers, not just ones that were married.

    • DWornock

      That is true and more so now than 40 years ago. Nevertheless, getting unmarried men to pay is less likely since often the women can only guess who the father is and, even if they know, they likely will name someone else with a higher income. However, the men are going to demand DNA testing.

  • coolbreeze
    True facts because divorce and separation suck.
  • These are some good points
  • Unit1
    This is why I'm getting a vasectomy 😀
    • Badballie

      I would suggest you wait until you are 30 before having a vasectomy. Reversals are usually not successful.

    • Unit1

      @Badballie irreversibility is the whole point in it.

    • Badballie

      Just thought you need to be aware of this, many women will not marry you if you tell them you're infertile. I do not believe children make a marriage better. It makes it worse for the husband, children will always come first in a women's life. Go and have your sperm frozen in case you need it to have a child. But never tell your girlfriends you are sterile, tell no one.

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  • Juxtapose
    Boycott fatherhood.

    Yes, I am serious.
    • Djaay

      I accually wish that every single guy would do this relentlessly , but they're all to busy thinking with the wrong brain.
      Just is pathetically stupid...

    • Juxtapose

      @Djaay Yes, humans are still primitive and will often act against their own best interests just to follow their instincts. The desire to produce offspring is quite strong among a lot of people.