When you are watching a TV show or a movie about a couple going through a divorce, the woman is commonly portrayed as the victim while the man is the silent sufferer. The truth is that divorce is extremely difficult for men because they often are not comfortable with expressing their feelings and/or they do not have an adequate support system to help them deal with their emotions.
According to an article posted on The Week website and written by Hayley Krischer, below are a few things men should know about the financial side of divorce so they know what to expect:
- Understand the cost. While no two divorce cases are identical, it is important to understand how your unique situation will play out during the divorce process. A simple, straightforward divorce (no kids, all terms agreed upon) will only cost hundreds to a few thousand. If your divorce is complex or you’re fighting over custody, support or the division of assets, the cost will increase. If experts such as accountants, counselors, appraisers and others are necessary, the expense goes up by the thousands. Thus, it is important to consider whether spending the money that could be going into your child’s college savings to fight with your spouse is worth it.
- Consider agreeing to pay alimony. Spousal support is often a hotly contested issue in divorce. It is common for a man that has supported a non-working wife throughout the marriage to resent the idea of having to support her after they are divorced. However, you should confer with your attorney to discuss how paying alimony can have certain tax benefits for you. You might discover that avoiding the cost to litigate the issue of alimony added to the tax savings you get make paying spousal support an easier pill to swallow.
- Don’t be too proud to collect alimony. If your wife was making more than you or you were a stay-at-home father, you may be entitled to receive spousal support payments.
- Be realistic with your post-divorce budget. It is important to remember that your daily living expenses will significantly change after your divorce is finalized. Not only will you have to adjust to possibly paying child support and/or alimony, but you will also have to find a new place to live and outfit it for your children.
- Be fair…..to yourself! It is common for men to let their spouse take the majority of the assets. Men are used to taking care of their wife and that feeling often extends into the divorce process. It is important to understand that you are entitled to your fair share and it is okay not to give everything to your ex. You don’t want to get down the road and realize you have regret and resentment because you caved during the divorce settlement.
There are many other tips in Ms. Krischer’s article, but the above list gives you an idea of what men should consider when they are facing divorce. If you have further questions, let us help. Contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a caring professional, and aggressive advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child timesharing (custody), and paternity matters.