Divorce is never easy — it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. However, this doesn’t mean that men who face divorce don’t have their own unique worries, concerns and biases about the divorce process. This article was written to discuss some of those concerns and offer a short list of tips men should consider when going through a divorce.
What’s important to keep in mind when reading this article, is that despite common misconceptions, men have rights when it comes to the divorce process. Anyone who says otherwise is spreading falsehoods. With the help of a good family attorney, a man can more effectively make his case to the court and secure the most favorable settlement in terms of spousal support, child support, and custody arrangement. Continue reading to learn more:
Repeat after me, fathers have rights too – The purpose of restating this point is to get you, as man facing divorce, to check your emotions at the door. There is unfortunately a misperception that courts automatically favor women when it comes to issues of community property, spousal support and child custody. This is just not true. The family code is equally weighted when it comes to many of the issues men care about most. Take for instance Family Code § 3020(b), which states, “The Legislature finds and declares that it is the public policy of this state to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage…” It’s important that you keep your emotions in check and explore your options with a good lawyer. Speaking of which, check out the next tip.
Beware, the Hyper-Aggressive Attorney – Because there is a perception in society that men are at an automatic disadvantage when they go through a divorce, there is no shortage of attorneys willing to exploit this perception. An attorney who encourages a client to file excessive motions and delay the process can collect a king’s ransom in fees. It goes without saying that such a lawyer might not be doing the client any favors. It’s important to keep in mind that California law was designed to encourage settlement between divorcing couples. Anyone who frustrates this policy could potentially be hit with sanctions in the form of paying the former spouse’s attorney’s fees. When looking for a good family lawyer, it’s best to consider their ability to keep a cool head, and negotiate effectively.
When Researching Lawyers, Consider A Few Different Professionals – When doing your research for a lawyer, it’s ok to cast a wide net at first and consider search engine results, Yelp reviews, and recommendations from family and friends. However, where the rubber meets the road is with the face-to-face consultation. If possible, try to meet in person (or at least talk directly by phone) with three or four different family lawyers before making your final decision.
Focus on What Matters – For many men, this means making their children a priority. Divorces can be contentious affairs, and too often, it’s the children that suffer. This is especially true in cases involving two spouses who have deep-seated resentments toward one another. Often times, people in these situations will bicker and fight over everything they can—from cars to finances to patio furniture. Sadly, children get swept up in this interpersonal hurricane. If you have children, keep them in focus—they should be the most important part of your life. Other things are just that—things. Focusing on what matters won’t only have positive effects on those you love, but will give you a boost as well.
Be Prepared to Negotiate – While it’s true that the family code requires community property be divided equally between the divorcing couple, this is easier said than done. If you come to the table with a genuine spirit of negotiation, you could possibly see the process move faster, and as a result, take less of a toll on you emotionally.
Don’t Try to Hide Your Finances – We’ve seen cases before where a husband has so much animosity toward his ex that he attempts to hide assets from her. A man might be tempted to do this in order to pay lower monthly spousal or child support. Remember, the court is likely to find out if you try to hide anything, and you can potentially be slapped with sanctions and fines. Long story short, it’s not worth it.
Take Care of Yourself – Divorces are stressful. There’s no way around it. The best thing you can do is not let yourself be consumed by your divorce 24- hours a day. No doubt, you have a busy life to begin with, and the divorce is just one more stressful addition. Be sure to eat well, and exercise and get plenty of rest. Whenever possible, take the time to decompress and get away from the stress of the day—whether this is a walk around the neighborhood, or a drive around town.
Have Questions? Contact a Family Lawyer
Whether a divorce happens between two people who have become deeply resentful of one another or a couple who’s managed to maintain decent communication, family law is complex. No matter your situation, a good family attorney will be vital in helping you navigate your divorce so that you can obtain the fairest arrangement possible. If you are going through a divorce or have questions about family law, contact this office to see how we can help.