Help for Divorced Dads

Audrey M. Jones
Dad with baby

Divorced fathers often struggle with balancing the changes in their parental roles. Fortunately, books, websites and local support groups now provide help for divorced dads. This help guides fathers on how to maintain their relationships with their children, continue to provide financial support and help them deal with their parents' divorce.

Literature Providing Guidance

Printed books provide dads with advice about handling all aspects of their divorce, from separation to settlement negotations to continuing a long-term, friendly relatinship with an ex-wife. The focus of the majority of books is maintaining the parental role of a father, despite changes in that role or distance from children.

  • The Divorced Dad's Survival Book, by David Knox and Kermit Leggett
  • Still a Dad: The Divorced Father's Promise, by Serge Prendel and Edward Stephens
  • Be a Great Divorced Dad: Kenneth Condrell and Linda Small
  • Always Dad: Being a Great Father During and After Divorce, by Paul Mandelstein
  • What Every Divorced Dad Needs to Know, by James Carmichael

Online Support for Divorced Dads

Many non-profit organizations, state or federally-funded agencies and other groups operate websites that provide information about and access to their assistance services. Depending on the organization, these services may link users to local associations or give contact information for the group's national office.

Emotional Support Options

Emotional support groups provide counseling and even legal assistance. The below programs inform divorced fathers about the typical affects of divorce on children, running a household and managing their relationship with their ex-wife.

International Association for Marriage and Family Counselors: This group offers counselor and therapist referrals for recently divorced families. Counselors and therapists are experienced in handling the issues that children and adults struggle with following a separation or divorce. The service is available nationwide.

New Beginnings: This group offers parents currently pursuing a divorce or recently divorced parents with support groups to discuss their difficulties. Groups meet regularly and there is no fee for attending. Groups are hosted throughout the nation.

Children's Rights Counsel: This non-profit group guides parents about handling the most common emotional problems children suffer during or after a divorce.

Child Abuse Listening and Education (CALM): This association assists parents who believe they are at risk for hurting their children. It counsels parents about possible coping mechanisms to use during the crisis as well as afterwards.

Financial Support Options

Supporting children on a single income isn't easy. Sometimes, divorced parents need to turn to private, state or federal agencies for help. The following groups provide gift cards, low-interest loans, financial counseling and even grants to help divorced dads support themselves and their children.

National Resource Network: This group offers financial education planning education to individuals experiencing a serious life event. Recently divorced or separated parents are eligible for the free service. A private counselor may be assigned to provide assistance, depending on the circumstances.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: This federal program gives undergraduate college students anywhere between $100-4,000 each year to pay for education costs, such as books. It prioritizes students with financial need and does not have a maximum age restriction. Grants do not need to be repaid.

Federal Pell Grant: This federal grant is awarded full or part-time undergraduate college students showing documentable need money to pay for their tuition and other education expenses. The maximum awardable amount in 2011 was $5,000. Awards do not need to be repaid.

Association for Children for Enforcement of Support: This non-profit association assists divorced parents owed overdue child support payments to collect. It operates nationwide, but provides advice specific to the relevant state or states.

Health and Human Services Child Care Program: This program gives parents free child care for the time while they are in class or attending a training program. Qualification depends on whether the parents are receiving federal or state financial assistance or currently living in public housing.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help!

Divorced dads need help too; don't hesitate to contact public agencies or private organizations to see how they can help you or your children financially or emotionally. Remember, too, that nothing is perfect, so don't give up if you do not like or need the first types of support you receive.

Help for Divorced Dads