How Do Custody Battles Affect Fathers?
The prospect of any changes with your children can be distressing. Sadly, this is an issue divorcing parents face as they negotiate child custody. It gets worse if the divorce is contested and they can’t amicably agree on what happens to the children.
Child custody battles can have several psychological effects when they become prolonged and intense. Given that courts in Maryland tend to favor mothers in custody issues, fathers are more affected psychologically than women. Men’s rights lawyers in Montgomery County explain the psychological impact of custody battles on men and how to cope.
What Are the Mental Health Challenges Arising from Custody Battles?
While people react in different ways when faced with stressful situations such as child custody, common mental health challenges that commonly affect fathers include the following:
High-stress levels are typical among fathers denied their child custody rights in Maryland. Stress over being unable to see and spend time with their children as often as they would like can become debilitating. The feelings can spill over to other aspects of their lives, disrupting their professional and social relationship. In extreme cases, stress leads to depression.
When stress goes unchecked, it escalates to a higher level, leading to hopelessness, sadness, apathy, and lack of interest in life. While the feelings are normal parts of daily living, they can become frequent, long-lasting, and intense, interfering with a man’s ability to make sound decisions or fight for their rights during custody determination.
Anxiety is a common reaction associated with stress. Mild anxiety levels can be beneficial as a survival tactic but can lead to a mental disorder associated with muscle tension and avoidance behavior. Severe anxiety can make it challenging to fight the custody battle.
If you’re a father experiencing these psychological effects due to an intense child custody battle, don’t suffer alone in silence. Skilled Montgomery County men’s child custody attorneys can fight to protect your rights and help you navigate through this challenging time.
Other psychological impacts of child custody battles on fathers are the following:
- Anger: It’s common for fathers to feel irritable and angry for not being able to interact with their children before custody is finally determined. Feelings of losing control over their children and the thought of being treated unfairly by courts and ex-wives can escalate their anger.
- Guilt: While divorce is two-way traffic, men tend to bear the brunt of their broken marriages. They blame themselves for the dissolution of their marriages and grapple with feelings of shame while blaming themselves for the divorce.
- Social withdrawal: Due to stress, depression, anxiety, and shame related to custody battles, most fathers tend to pull back from their social relationships. Lack of social support only tends to make things worse, as isolation could lead to destructive habits like alcohol indulgence and drug abuse as a way to cope with negative feelings.
- Loss of identity and sense of self: Fathers can lose their sense of identity as their relationship with their children changes by varying degrees. They may feel like they’ve lost their status of being good fathers, hence losing their zeal to fight for custody.
In addition to these effects, child custody battles are lengthy and exhausting. Dealing with court dates and legal matters is often challenging for fathers with demanding work schedules. That’s why working with skilled men’s child custody lawyers in Montgomery County is advisable. They can help you keep up with court matters and fight to help you get a favorable outcome in your case.
What Can I Do to Cope as I Fight for Child Custody?
The thought that you could lose custody of your children or not be able to spend as much time as you did with them in the past can drain you. Worrying about their future and what you could have done differently to avoid the current situation is normal. However, you shouldn’t let all these feelings and fears drain you.
It would help to be proactive in dealing with the psychological impact of the custody battle. Skilled Montgomery County men’s rights attorneys advise that you take the following practical steps to help you cope:
If you notice the above psychological effects have lasted for more than a few weeks and are impacting your ability to work or make sound decisions, it’s time to seek professional psychological help from a therapist. Your men’s child custody lawyers in Montgomery County can refer you to various mental health professionals for assessment and treatment.
If you have neglected various aspects of your life that make you whole and give your life meaning, it may be time to revisit them. A professional may also be able to recommend lifestyle changes that can help you manage depression and other symptoms. Simple self-care habits that can make an impact include:
- Eating healthy and well-balanced meals
- Exercising regularly
- Having adequate sleep
- Building positive relationships with friends and family
- Keeping an open communication channel with the other parent, if possible
Legal Advice and Representation
Being unfamiliar with the law and court system can make fighting for your child custody rights as a father hard. Lack of knowledge and mental disorders are a recipe for disaster, but having legal representation from experienced men’s child custody lawyers in Montgomery County can make the situation easier for you.
Lawyers can make you legally aware and empower you to help you make choices that favor you and your child. They can recommend the steps to take and what to avoid to enhance your chances of a favorable child custody arrangement.
An Experienced Men’s Rights Lawyer Fighting Your Custody Issues
Psychological issues are likely to follow if you’re a man going through a divorce and having tough child custody battles. Stress, anxiety, anger, depression, and loss of identity are some of them.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help you cope. One of them is to get the legal assistance of skilled men’s rights lawyers in Montgomery County to help you fight for your rights.
Pare & Associates is a reputable family law firm providing legal representation to clients going through challenging issues during their divorce. We focus our practice on men in divorce to help them fight the bias in divorce courts. Call us at (301) 515-1190 to speak to a dedicated and compassionate men’s divorce lawyer.