I like most everyone else in this world always thought it was best to start off as the nice guy and try to be the one to compromise. And, although I am not changing how I will proceed in the future, I am not in a divorce scenario.
What I see on a daily basis is a man who is either attempting to win back his wife or just trying to be the nice guy. It starts with Mother saying you should allow the children to stay with just me for a little while so they can transition. Then the next step is that it is supposed to be father’s time with the children, but they have plans that are usually more fun so father allows for his time to be terminated. And then the final step is for mother to say that father does not know the children, they do not feel comfortable in his care, the children are scared to stay overnight with father, and even he has abandoned the children. Now, mother refuses any time with the children. At this point father knows he has been fooled but what does he do? When he does go to court, father finds out the court does not care why he did not see the children, and now wants father to go to reunification therapy before he can see his own children. Also, father will not have anymore than weekends going forward.
What should father do? He should do the same thing that mother does, never allow anyone to take your children away without taking them to court forthwith. As a rhetorical question, what would happen if when the decision to divorce is made if father took the children to his parents house and stayed there refusing to allow mother to see the children? Mother would call the police, she would call the fire department, she will cry, she will yell, she will not leave, and she will never give up. Not fighting for your children from the very beginning will cost much more than money, it will cost you time with your children that can never be made up.