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Man finds that divorce makes him a better father

Divorce has the ability to tear a parent up inside. When the kids are no longer a regular part of a parent's life because the marriage has ended, it can really make the parents reflect on who they are and how much they care for and love their children. Many people in Louisiana have felt this, but only some have allowed the potentially damaging effects of a child custody determination to transform them into a better parent. That is what one man did after he and his wife ended their relationship.

According to him, divorce was the worst thing that ever happened to him. But with two children at stake - aged 2 years and 6 months, respectively - it was not time for him to turn off as a father. Like other parents in his situation, the man found himself seeing his kids rather infrequently - about a couple of times per week. But interestingly, he was spending more time with his kids now than before the divorce.

Prior to the split, the man had been absent because he was working the majority of his time. He said that when he wasn't working, he was drinking and finding trouble. It was unclear if this contributed to his divorce, but it is rather likely.

The kids stayed with their mother and their father moved into a furnished apartment that, according to him, smelled like Chinese food and had shag carpeting. When their mother decided to move to Boston, their father decided to move as well. During his time there, he found another apartment and decided to become a better father to his children.

He said that the first night his children spent the night with him in Boston was one of the most important nights after the divorce. Previously, he had been a corporate big shot, but now he was without a job and had been for two years. The night his kids stayed with him was the beginning of playground visits and a double stroller, and a realization that he was a stay-at-home dad. Six years were spent like this and now that his kids are grown, he looks back and realizes that divorce allowed him to become the father he now is.

Source: New York Times, "When a Divorce Makes a Better Dad," Thomas Matlack, Jan. 30, 2013

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