During a divorce, parents generally do their best to prioritize their children’s well-being. This not only means crafting a child custody agreement that keeps their best interests at heart, but also being there for them. Some newly divorced fathers in Texas struggle with this, but here are a few tips to keep in mind when navigating child custody.

While unhappily married parents may have been building up to divorce for quite some time, children might not have the same opportunity to mentally and emotionally prepare for the process beforehand. Even if they did, experiencing their parents’ divorce can be extremely difficult. Children might lash out at one parent or both, which can make some fathers feel as if they have failed their child. Some may even feel tempted to modify their custody schedules so that their children can spend more time with their mother. Instead, fathers should try to not take these actions personally and to do their best to validate their children’s feelings.

Part of that validation might involve a joint effort with an ex-spouse. For children, having both parents present after divorce can be incredibly important. This means that showing up for sporting events, school activities and other important events should be a joint effort. It can be uncomfortable to be around an ex after a divorce, but showing up no matter what will demonstrate that both parents still love their child no matter what happens.

Creating a great child custody agreement is just the first step to parenting after divorce. Validating children’s feelings, showing up and remembering that their actions are not necessarily personal are also important. However, there are times when it may be necessary to modify an agreement. In such cases, Texas fathers might find that doing so sooner rather than later is usually a good idea.