The end of a marriage can be a difficult time for all parties involved, regardless of the reason for the divorce. For men, it can be particularly daunting, particularly for those who are not good at expressing their feelings or lack a good support system. You may also be worried that the court may favor your wife in terms of custody or property division.
If you are facing a divorce, these tips will help you get through this complicated time without making mistakes that could jeopardize your future.
1. Prioritize Assets
You should never go into a divorce expecting to receive everything, even if you are the sole breadwinner in your family. It will make negotiations far easier if you prioritize the things that you hope to keep.
Consider everything that you and your wife own and make a list of your top priorities so that your lawyer will know where to focus their efforts when it comes to the division of property. You will not get everything you want, but this can avoid wasting time fighting for assets that are not meaningful to you.
2. Create a Budget for Your Post-Divorce Life
It is a good idea to make a budget for your post-divorce life now. Many men think about the money they will have to pay up front for their divorce-related expenses, such as attorney fees, alimony and child support, but overlook the everyday expenses they will encounter once they are single.
For example, those who have joint custody will need to purchase comfort items such as clothes and toys to enable their children to live comfortably in their home. Many kids who split time between their parents’ homes prefer having everything they need at each house to avoid losing items in the transfer.
3. Avoid Making Big Decisions Right Away
Many men fail to realize that a divorce is similar to mourning a death, and it is often accompanied by grieving, even for the party who initiated the divorce; therefore, it should be treated with a sense of gravity. Avoid making any major financial decisions in the first 6 to 12 months afterward. This means you should also avoid moving to a new city or changing jobs and stick to the norm while you navigate this big adjustment to your life.
4. Do Not Hide Assets
The division of marital property can be highly contentious, but it is vital to disclose all of your assets during the discovery phase of the divorce. Some men feel that because they were the main or sole earner in their household, they are entitled to certain assets, and they may even go so far as to attempt to hide them from their spouse.
Sometimes this is very easy as the husband may have been in charge of the couple’s finances; in other cases, they may have to go out of their way to be deceptive, such as by asking a trusted friend to hold onto high-value items until the divorce is over.
However, if your wife suspects that you may be hiding assets, a forensic accountant will be able to uncover them, and it could work against you. The court will view you unfavorably and you may end up losing far more in the long run. A judge could issue sanctions, require you to pay your spouse’s legal fees or order you to pay higher alimony payments. In some cases, you may even face criminal fraud charges.
5. Write Everything Down
During your divorce, it is important to maintain meticulous records of everything, particularly any communication that you have with your soon-to-be ex-wife. Any time that you communicate with one another, write down everything that was said and the result of the conversation. This written record can help you ensure that she does not go say something in the future that you know to be untrue.
6. Don’t Get a DIY Divorce
It is understandable that you want to avoid spending a lot of money on litigation or a lengthy custody battle, but a DIY divorce can cost you a lot of money in the long run. Consider mediation with the assistance of your attorneys; this may be more affordable than litigation while still providing you with access to the guidance that you need to ensure your interests are protected.
7. Choose an Attorney Who Considers Court a Last Resort
Although it never hurts to hire a divorce attorney who shines in the courtroom, it is wise to hire someone who also has the experience and ability necessary to help you settle without going to court. This can save considerable time, money and heartache. It is entirely possible to resolve a divorce without having a hearing in court, whether it is by negotiation, mediation or another type of out-of-court settlement.
Request a Consultation with the Experienced Maryland Family Law Attorneys
If you are going through a divorce and you need a lawyer on your side who will protect your rights and interests as a man, contact the experienced Maryland family law attorneys at SIEGEL LAW today.