10 Things Divorce Dads need to know

Cannon & Associates is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for all fathers facing divorce and child custody disputes. Your interests as a father demand you contact an experienced family law attorney that understands the unique issues and challenges associated with being a father going through divorce.

As a father and child of divorce, John Cannon understands the unique circumstances faced by fathers going through the divorce process. The following are ten things fathers facing divorce should keep in mind during divorce.

1) You’re not Divorcing Your Children

Although some fathers find themselves disconnecting from their children after a divorce. Your divorce may actually be an opportunity to connect with your children on a deeper level. Whether you have 50/50 child custody in Oklahoma or visitation; you should find ways to make the time with your children special. They will remember the good times with you more than the fact they are away from you part of the time, if you make use of time with your children after divorce or separation.

 2) Only Ex’s Parenting Expectations Don’t Matter

Yes, you are bound by the joint parenting plan and/or custody arrangement concerning your children after a divorce; however, you are still an expert when it comes to your children. Your ex may try and tell you how to be a father, but you do not have to listen now that you are divorced. You should consider your ex-wife’s feelings, so long as they do not inhibit your quality time with your children, but you are no longer bound by what she wants; outside of orders of the Court. You can decide the way you spend quality time with your children and help raise them to be the young man or woman that you want them to become.

3) You are a Full-Time Dad regardless of custody

You are a dad or you’re not a dad. Period. Many divorced dads in Oklahoma spend more time with their children than they ever did when they were married. Think of dads in the military or working 12-hour work days. The quality of your fatherhood is not based on quantity; it is based on quality. No matter the amount of time, if you consistently commit time and energy to your children, they will remember that about you the rest of their lives!

4) You’re NOT a babysitter

You do not have to constantly entertain your children when you are with them, even, if you only get a few days with them a month. Constantly entertaining your children builds a false sense of happiness or a health home life. Be real and they will love you for it.

5) Your children have two homes with rules

Your home is your children’s home; regardless if they only stay with you a few nights a month. They phrase, “but mom lets us do….” should hold no meaning at your home or your ex’s home. Your house your rules. It is important to communicate with your ex (to the extent possible) about ground rules, but you control your home and if you hold your kids accountable in your home they will respect you and grow to love you more for it.

6) Listen to your “Inner Dad”

Your conscience exists for a reason and it can help you in being a father as well. Listen to your “inner dad” to the extent reasonable and possible in deciding when to stretch the lines and when not to give in. You will be more genuine and the best dad possible, if you moment-by-moment build on this part of your personality.

7) Kids are tougher than we give them credit

Yes, divorce is difficult on children; trust me I know! However, many kids don’t need counseling seasons or therapy to cope; they need love and support. Research shows that many kids do very well dealing with divorce, especially, if joint custody exists and they are encouraged to express their feelings. When my parents got divorced, I felt free to express my feelings and had a network of friends and sports to keep me engaged and free to express how I was feeling. I feel like I am a better husband and father now that I went through divorce as a child. Don’t let your friends or the internet convince you of your future as a father.

8) Parent how you want to parent

You do not have to mourn your divorce in front of your children. Yes, you should respect your children’s feelings about you and your spouse going through divorce; however, you do not need to mourn for their benefit. Enjoy your time with your children and when/or if you decide to begin dating again, respect your children’s feelings about the issue and bring it up as they are comfortable.

9) Your issues with your ex aren’t your kids’ issues

Your children will appreciate and respect you more, if you do not include them in the issues with your ex. You will have issues with your ex and that is to be expected, but your children should not have to hear about it or deal with it. Additionally, you will have issues or problems raising your children after divorce; just like parents that never get divorced have issues with their children. That is okay too! Children need to know your love is unconditional and cannot be broken. That is different from your children can disrespect you. It is a difficult road raising children after divorce; however, it is just a different type of difficult raising children without divorce.

10) You are not perfect and your children don’t expect you to be perfect

Mistakes are fundamental to parenting; whether you are a divorced parent or have been married to the mother of your children for their entire life. Parents make mistakes just everyone else. Own your mistakes; apologizes to your children when necessary; they will love you for your humanity.

Fatherhood after Divorce

Fatherhood after divorce can be challenging; however, if you act as a parent, not a babysitter and love your children with discipline and grace; you will be seen by your children for their entire life.

Fathering is a challenge and being a father of divorced children can be more challenging at times; however, children are very adaptable and will learn and can be very happy in their new norm. Seeking the best possible outcome for your children in your divorce is a difficult task and should not be done without the help and support of an experienced Oklahoma family law attorney.

It is my hope this page has answered some of your questions regarding being a father after divorce in Oklahoma, if not please visit FAQ: Family Law and/or contact Cannon Law Firm for a free confidential consultation.


Experience matters when you are facing divorce as a father in Oklahoma. It is important to know the family law attorney you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in Oklahoma father’s rights and Oklahoma family law. John Cannon, owner of Cannon Law Firm, is a father and was a child of divorce. He understands the unique issues faced by father going through divorce. Our firm will personally represent you and work along-side you during the entire process. We will keep you informed. We have the experience you need and will bring it to bear in your case.

Additionally, John Cannon has an outstanding record of reaching the best possible outcome for hundreds of clients, evidenced by receiving the highest possible AVVO rating – 10 (superb) and being recognized as a Super Lawyer in Oklahoma. Contact Cannon Law Firm, PLLC to protect your rights and Fight for your child custody. You may send an email inquiry, complete the contact form on our website, or call at 1(405) 657-2323 to schedule a free confidential consultation.