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Advice for those who have just split up.
Here is some advice to newly separated dads, this may sound cynical but from my experience and watching my brother go through the same sort of thing I feel it may be relevant to most of us.
There really isn't anything in a divorce/speration that is "amicable", I kidded myself that me and my ex could do it that way. So my advice is simple. Get everything down in writing through a solicitor. Access dates to be in writing. Shared access? establish who is the primary carer. If like me you have your child/children for the most part make sure all school addresses doctors dentists are in your address not hers.It will help your case to establish a primary carer position, just having them more nights than her will count for nothing if everything is registered with her. Make sure you put any maintenance coming out of your account marked down with the bank reference number as maintenance. Do not under any any circumstance hand it over in cash, she is hardly likely to give you a receipt for it.  A united front will not always be possible with the two parents, avoid talking about any adult issues with your children (i.e your ongoing divorce/separation) and no matter how much you want to slag off your ex and make your child understand the truth......don't. Kids hear even when you think it is safe to talk so avoid talking about the situation when the kids are in the house. Do not send abusive texts or emails which can be used against you no matter how much get wound up by your ex's actions. Take regular advice from a professional i.e solicitor or social worker if you have any queries do not under any circumstances assume to know the answer. I am not preaching here I am merely offering my opinion as a separated dad and somebody who is talking very much after the horse had bolted.  I wish I had been given this advice when I broke up with my ex and what the consequences of what I did or didn't do could be. I also wish this site was around then for the same reason and some of the fantastic advice offered from the members.
Hi JCSG05,

Some good advice there, but I'd just like to point out that separated parents can get on post break up, my wife kicked her ex out of the house and whilst initially things were difficult, once I came on the scene, nearly 8 years ago, the situation for their children improved greatly, thanks in part to the effect she could see my child access issues were affecting me.

In my opinion, whilst you are able to, I'd not get too officious or wanting things set in stone, a certain amount of flexability is always better for the kids, and wanting things fixed can sometimes be counterproductive as it puts the ex on the defensive which then makes dealing with the issues involved a lot harder as you both see it as a "battle" which must be "won".

Invariably kids dearly love both their parents, and seeing them fighting over things damages their self esteem......Which funnily enough reinforces your point about denegrating the ex.

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