Why Divorce Advice For Men?
Because while some of the issues related to divorce are not different based on your gender, several are. And even those that are not specific to men still need answered from a guy’s perspective to make sense. In the end, it is just that; advice, which is like opinions and body parts: we all have them. But we know guys and we know divorce. And with hundreds of men daily walking freshly onto the path of divorce, combined with the huge community of men here who have traveled that road before, the advice is pretty sound.
The key issues relating to divorce advice for men are what we call the pain points. As our community has grown over the years, we’ve observed and helped in a number of areas, but the majority of the topics fall into these pain points. These pain points are our cornerstones. In these sections on Guyvorce.com, you will find greater details about each, as well as numerous articles about specific areas. Collectively, they provide the best divorce advice specifically for men, so let’s focus there.
Save your Marriage
Seems like an odd point, but the fact is most of our guys didn’t initiate the divorce. Many are blindsided by a wife that surprises them one day with a demand for divorce, money, and the kids. Round one for these guys is searching for ways to save their marriage. For these men, avoiding divorce is a major part of divorce. Like it or not, this is where you are. Fixing the problems that brought you and your spouse here may sit at the very top of your list. If saving your marriage is your goal, then know that divorce does not require both to agree. But, it does not have to happen swiftly, and you do not have to agree to anything. Take time, delay, and give yourself time to think and direct attention to your wife and your marriage. Observe and try to understand what went wrong and if there is a way for you to save it. In the end, you can’t stop her if she wants a divorce. Marriage is an odd contract. It requires both parties to agree, but either one can break it. You can work to save it, and you take the time you need to try.
Choosing a Divorce Lawyer
Even if you are on the road trying to save your marriage, you need to find a qualified divorce attorney. When your car breaks, you get a mechanic. When your plumbing goes bad, you call a plumber. Sure, some of us can fix either or both, but not as well as a qualified one. Here’s the deal, though. Goon up your car or your plumbing and you can call a professional to fix what you did. Goon up the start of your divorce, sign something you shouldn’t have, and a good attorney can’t undo what you did. And the damage costs are far higher than a messed up bathroom sink. Family law attorneys can advise you as you go, even if your end goal is not divorce. Get their advice right up front!
Fathers’ Rights Attorneys
If you are a dad, you need to think even harder about who you pick as your attorney. According to the Census Bureau, only 1 in 6 custodial parents are the father. You can find many theories all over the map about why that is, but the why really isn’t important, because for you it just is the state of the system today. Attorneys that specialize in Fathers’ Rights are the ones that understand the why, and not just a nationwide why, but your region. The laws and trends in the family court system today are not standard, and you will find they are not standard even in the same state. The liberal courts in Austin, Texas do not rule the same as the conservative courts in Dallas as an example. You are going to be challenged as a man in the courts for the normal issues of property and alimony. With kids, though, your rights as their father are going to be challenged. Your time with them, your influence over their growth and learning is all at risk. Don’t trust this vital aspect of your life with anyone!
Tied in with being a father is a solid understanding of your child support obligations mean as well as projecting what they are. Child support is designed to balance the households so that there is less disparity between each parent’s home in order to offer the children a similar quality of life in either household. How child support is determined varies across the nation. Some have intricate models based on cost of raising children, supported by Government researched models. The Department of Agriculture, as an example, has extensive models available to everyone to determine the cost of children in various parts of the country.
Other states, sadly, just do a blanket percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. With most fathers assuming the role of non-custodial parent, the issue of child support is a huge issue for men. The states treat this issue with departments of “enforcement.” Too many men before you have been committed beyond their means to unaffordable payments resulting in delinquency brandishing many men with the horrible term “deadbeat dads”. It’s important for you to fully understand your obligations and how they will impact your life ahead.
Alimony is another major pain point for men. According to the last Census bureau’s data, of all the people in the States living off of some form of spousal support, only 3% were men. That means the other 97% were women being paid by the guys. Take a look at your current living conditions and budget. After a divorce, there are two payments you could end up paying to your spouse; child support and alimony. Child support is only possible if you have children. But alimony doesn’t care. Instead, its intent is to allow your spouse to have a reasonable standard of living, near the stand enjoyed while married, to allow her to transition back into the workforce. That’s true unless you live in a state that still considers alimony-for-life, in which case there could be no end to the flow of your money over to her account. If there is some glimmer of a bright light in this tunnel it is that many states are undergoing alimony reform in their legislature. It is important that you understand what to realistically expect in your region based on the conditions of your divorce. For alimony the main factors are the employment state of your wife, income differences between you two, age, length of marriage, and if any at-fault conditions on your part played into the divorce, such as infidelity.
With the vast majority of fathers facing a non-custodial parent status with their kids after divorce, so many before you struggle with understanding and enforcing their visitation rights with their children. Too many are given endless excuses about why they can’t see the kids during their time. Others face a constant struggle against a bitter ex focused on breaking down the relationship between the father and the children. Decades ago the standard for custody was the tender years doctrine, which assumed children were best cared for by the mother. Since that time, the courts are shifting their standard to the best-interests-of-the-kids standard. This allows for more opportunity for dads to see their kids, but as the stats show, the custody awarding record is still not in the fathers’ favor. Some systems are starting to recognize the vital role fathers play in their children’s lives, and are recognizing the need for more time and even 50/50 split. Another great step is the shift from the term visitation to the term parenting time, because they are after all still your children. You aren’t just visiting them, you are performing your role as their parent. It is important for you to fully understand your role as their father, its importance, and the trends in your region for recognizing this role and granting you the proper time to serve this function.
PTSD and Divorce
Some divorces are simple and not contentious. Two people realize they need to go their separate ways, they come to an agreement about all the issues, and present the court with their determination. Simple. Most people, though, can’t agree on everything. They seek the help and advice of legal counsel, and enter into the stressful part of divorce that is ranked on the Holmes-Rahe scale as the second worst life stress, only second to death of the spouse.
Even with the number that go into some form of litigation. Only about 5% of divorces are actually settled with a full trial. The rest reach their limit from the stress and struggle from the system and settle.
The stress and trauma from divorce can overwhelm anyone. The symptoms experienced by those going through a horrible marriage and divorce are very similar to the well-known condition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. To be formally called PTSD, the symptoms must result from a single, traumatic event. However, that requirement is under debate today within the medical community. To those suffering from the symptoms, whatever you call it, it really doesn’t matter. They need help. There’s no shame in suffering, and there’s no honor fighting it on your own. With the right help, those suffering can move past the pain and get on with their lives.
Life after Divorce
As you work through all the pain points of divorce, your end goal is to come out of the other end of this struggle quickly and as the man you want to be so that you can get on with your life. There is life after divorce. You can recreate yourself as the best single man you can be, the best father, and move forward with the activities that may have defined you or could define you in the future. As you conquer each of the pain points, you will find yourself closer the man you want to be in the future. It is more than just online dating and one-nighters. How you live, where you live, your job, your life with your children, and then yes the chance to meet someone that rekindles love, that is life, real life after divorce.
Divorce is a horrible experience. Anyone who has gone through it will forever remember it as one of the worst experiences of their life. If there is a bright side, it is that you don’t have to travel this road blindly. Many men have traveled it before you and we stand ready to help our brothers avoid the pitfalls we found.