The problem with Dads and Divorce is that the vast majority of Dads are not the custodial parent and therefore, no matter the Legal Custody status (which for many is that both have full Joint Legal Custody) in effect the Dad has little or no control on what goes on day-to-day. The Mother (custodial parent) gets to make the “day-to-day” decisions which for many of them ends up meaning EVERY decision, even potential “life changing” decisions. As put in the words of many an ex-wife… “I am making the change and it is ‘my’ decision because I am making the decision ‘today’ and therefore it is a day-to-day decision.” These manipulations cover just about anything she may want it to cover and getting her to stop is virtually impossible without life altering legal fees, negatively affecting your children’s lives, and time away from being able to earn a living.
Many Dads opt for this approach for many reasons including the need to make a significant living to pay both household’s bills, lack of comfort with being a pseudo full-time Dad, or lack of desire, and following the traditional route advised by attorneys and psychologists.
My sincere advice is to do whatever you can to get Full Joint Legal and Custodial custody, even if it means your children having to split their time with you equally and not having a “primary” home. Many psychologists advise against this and say the child should have a primary residence, but it is a slippery slope and in the end causes much more damage to the children if you are left out of their lives and easily alienated.
Step-up, commit to being there for your children right from the beginning, and reap the rewards of being a steady influence in their lives.