Going through a divorce is hard no matter what your gender. The legal impact of divorce, however, can be much more devastating for men than it can for women. Sadly, even in this day and age, there are still biases at work against men in our family court that often affect your finances, your relationship with your children and even your property.
Our office has represented hundreds of fathers and husbands. We have seen countless cases where a man going through a divorce ends up with less because he was unprepared or did not have proper representation. We have compiled a list of divorce tips for men going through a divorce to help you through one of the most difficult times in your life:
Tip #1 Don’t Leave Unless You Have To
Unless you are concerned for your personal safety or worried about being falsely accused of domestic violence, do not leave your home. Moving out is one of the single worst things you can do as a man going through a divorce.
There is a good chance that leaving during a divorce will result in you continuing to pay all of the household finances as well as limiting your time with your children. In the short term, judges are reluctant to change the status quo. This means that if you leave, regardless of whether you take on new expenses for your own place, the judge will still require you to pay. Moreover, if you are only seeing the children here and there, it is unlikely your divorce judge will increase your time with your children if you move out.
Tip #2 See Your Children
You have to insist on equal time with your children from the very beginning of your divorce case. We have written a number of articles addressing father’s custody rights, so we will keep this tip short and simple here. See your kids!
Keep a journal or a calendar of the time you actually spend with your children. Document your desire to see your children with your spouse. Send text messages and emails confirming that you are picking up your kids and dropping them off. Keep a paper trial of every visit, every time.
Tip #3 Know Your Finances Before You File For Divorce
I often see men going through divorce who have no clue how the community funds are being spent. Often, the husband is the breadwinner and the wife controls the finances. When it comes to divorce, many men find that they have no idea where there money is going.
Before you file for divorce, find out about your finances. Gather your tax returns, bank statements, mortgage statements and other documentation of your finances. Get printouts of your last 6 months of credit card receipts and bring them to your divorce attorney.
It is important for your lawyer to know how much is being spent and on what. Providing this information can help your divorce attorney determine child support amounts, alimony and possible community waste.
Tip #4 Protect Yourself
As a husband and father going through a divorce, it may seem counterintuitive to hear that you need to protect yourself first, but you need to protect yourself first. We have hundreds of stories about how our clients tried to be “nice guys” going through their divorce and it ended up costing them in the end.
You have to stand up for your rights and what you want out of your divorce. Part of that is hiring the right divorce attorney but the other part is doing what you need to do for yourself in order to survive your divorce.
Simple things such as seeing your children and keeping a log of visits will help protect your rights. You should also keep some cash on hand for expenses. Don’t leave important personal papers where they can be taken or destroyed. Hire a private investigator early on if you think it is necessary. If your safety is at risk, consider filing for a restraining order.
It is important to understand your rights and to have a divorce attorney on your side who will represent your interests in Court. As divorce attorneys, we often see cases where men don’t want to rock the boat and just want to get their case over. This usually results in a husband or father giving up way too much, to try to get peace and quiet.
We work with men, to make sure that they don’t give up and that they get what they are entitled to in the divorce. Going through a divorce is hard and you need to know that you have good partner on your side who speaks your language. We have represented hundreds of men going through a divorce and if you or someone you know needs a divorce attorney, we can help. Call us today at (702) 433-2889 or fill out our on-line form for more information.