Divorce Articles Section

Divorce Information for Men

The awakening of the men’s movement in this country is providing insight into the pain that men experience. The divorce process is a common source of much of that pain. Surprisingly, in many cases it is the man who is paralyzed by emotions – not the woman. Feeling terribly victimized, men sometimes conclude that the courts agree with the cynical saying, “What’s his is theirs and what’s hers is hers.”

Men have several very real concerns.
The number one concern for fathers with young children is how the divorce will affect their relationship with their children. Even though we hear about fathers who abandon their children after divorce, this is not the prevailing attitude. During divorce, men fight for the right to participate in the lives of their children and only if denied that right do they sometimes walk away in frustration and discontinue child support payments.

Fathers dread their lack of control and fear the court’s power to decree the most intimate details of their relationships with their children. Just because a man and woman no longer get along with each other does not mean that a father loves his children less. In fact in many cases, going through with a divorce takes them through an educational process that brings them closer to their own hidden emotions – paving the way toward warmer and more participative roles as fathers.

After the issue of children, a man’s second concern is the prospect of paying life-time alimony to his ex-wife. No one wants to be tied into that possibility. Men want an end to the payments. They believe they cannot get on with their lives as long as they have to pay out a large portion of their income to someone that is no longer a part of their life. They see this as keeping the relationship going with no possibility of relief. They really do not understand why, when a relationship is at an end, they should have an obligation to support this person indefinitely. Moreover, they cannot understand why a woman would want this continued enmeshment.

Having to pay out large sums in the first few years after a divorce for things like child support, alimony, attorney’s fees (both his and hers), as well as property settlement, means that a man’s discretionary income may suffer greatly. He frequently feels that he has been “taken to the cleaners” and that he is doomed to pay for the divorce forever. In some cases, he may be right. But statistics show that in the vast majority of cases, the financial effects of divorce are relatively temporary. Men can take solace in the fact that their earning potential is almost always higher than the ex-wife’s and they will eventually be financially better off.

A third critical concern to men is sharing their pensions. A man feels he earned the pension and he should not have to share it with anyone. It’s interesting that in many cases, the man will agree to a 50/50 property split and give the wife other assets in exchange for keeping his pension – “just don’t touch my pension!” It becomes an extremely emotional issue that can steer a man in the wrong direction!

A fourth concern for the self-employed is his business. If it has significant value, this can be an area of great concern for both sides. All too often it is the only asset of real value and since it cannot be divided, paying the wife her half of the value can be a real problem. Most often this is solved with a property settlement note; however some judges have difficulty with this arrangement.

A universal concern is a perception that the deck is stacked against men from the beginning because of pressures from highly visible feminists and a sympathetic press. Men feel that they are made to pay the price for a minority of husbands and fathers who ignore their responsibilities. It is the experience of many men that they are “assumed guilty” for the breakup of the marriage – and that they must pay in order to atone for this sin.

Obtaining the proper balance in a divorce is an extremely complex process. The authors – a man and a woman, believe that the best results are obtained when emotions, law and finances are considered with the unbiased view of a support team. Information is the key to fair resolutions.

You can take action.
With detailed financial planning, you can solve these and other problems. Take into account such factors as earnings, inflation, division of property, the amount and the length of maintenance, and reduced standards of living. If it's clear that one person will have surplus dollars from earnings, make sure this is considered when the court is making property settlements and maintenance arrangements. There is a lot of educating that has to be done in some of these cases. Many attorneys bring in a financial expert to take part in this educating process.

Consider hiring a financial divorce professional.
You have help out there! Financial professionals (CPAs, attorneys, and financial planners) are being trained in the intricate financial aspects of divorce. They know the tax loopholes and show the long-term financial result of any given settlement proposal. This gives you more information that helps you come to a better solution for both parties involved. To find a Certified Financial Divorce Practitioner nearest you, call 888-332-3342.