My Story by Guyvorce Founder, Dennis Work
Why Guyvorce? Why now?
It’s simple really. Having been divorced three times I saw firsthand the need for support for guys going through the divorce process.
During my first divorce back in 1987, computers were in their infancy. With the assistance of five different professional therapists (my Ex’s choice, not mine), I was able to forestall the impending divorce for five years. But, to no avail, the marriage failed. The internet didn’t exist for the general population’s use. And, I had no choice but to take the advice of divorce counsel without the benefit of alternate opinions and perspectives. I struggled through the divorce, both during and after. Thank God my Ex was reasonable. My marriage of 16 years ended with reasonable child support, reasonable and flexible visitation, and no alimony. (Delaware, my state of residence, had lifelong alimony for marriages ending after 20 years at that time.)
My second marriage, in 1989, began as all marriages do, on cloud nine. The week before the marriage ceremony, my second wife, through her legal counsel, suggested a prenuptial agreement as she had a superior equity position to that of mine, to the tune of $100k, as all I had was some worthless start up stock in the small consulting firm that I had helped to start in 1987. Fast forward to my second divorce in 1991, again, there was no info related to divorce on the internet as the internet existed solely for use by the scientific community. And, had it not been for my prenuptial agreement, I would have been wiped out financially from my hard earned equity in my startup consulting firm that later sold for $10M to a major nationwide engineering outfit.
Now, as I entered into my third relationship in 1994, my soon to be wife refused to consider a prenuptial agreement, and I acquiesced to moving forward with the relationship anyway, somewhat afraid that if I didn’t follow through I would be alone. All was fine until she became disillusioned with the relationship in 2002, following the birth of our three children. Now, the internet was available, and I found help through a professional therapist, and from the teachings of Michelle Weiner-Davis’ book, Divorce Busting. With Michelle’s teachings and her methods, I was able to ward off the divorce for eight years. But, I had reached my breaking point in 2011 and began the divorce process.
My last divorce was finalized in New Jersey in late 2012. Through that last divorce, I still found it hugely difficult to access information easily from the internet. Massive searches and endless research bore little results. Individual articles existed but there was no overwhelming, lead resource on the internet to help men through the divorce process.
At that time, New Jersey still had alimony “for life” as a standard of care for women. There were no child support calculators available to prepare me for the courts. And, there were no reliable alimony standards available either. I was completely unprepared for the financial implications of the divorce. My divorce attorney, when questioned about child support expectations, suggested we hire a consultant to advise us on child support and alimony expectations (at an astronomical fee). I resisted and went ahead with the divorce blindly.
And, therein lay the problem. Information was made available only when astronomical fees were involved.
At that time, New Jersey still had “permanent alimony” as a standard of care for women. Child care, child custody and parenting issues mostly favored women. These types of lifelong, financial and child care standards are arcane, outdated, and based on old English common law that awarded ‘damages’ to women for the financial losses they suffered at the hands of the husband failing to live up to his marital lifelong vows at a time when women did not work outside the home. These old standards of financial care and custody need a drastic shift to a more fair and equitable standard.
In my first divorce, I was subject to the old “tender years doctrine” when it was thought mothers better for child rearing. I was granted one night a week of visitation and every other weekend with my son. I went from being a full-time Dad, to visitation limited to 14% of the available hours a month. How cruel is that? And why was I nearly eliminated from my son’s life?
In my last divorce, child rearing and child custody was more based on today’s standards of “what’s in the best interests of the child”. Still, the court systems change slowly and the old “tender years doctrine” practices die hard, regardless of what studies show to be in the best of the children. Overwhelmingly, in today’s family court systems, mothers are awarded huge, many times unsustainable sums of child support from dads (irrespective of the percentage of parenting time), are still awarded significant sums of alimony, regardless of income (and are sometimes awarded “permanent alimony”), are predominantly awarded primary custody and are awarded primary physical residence for the children of the marriage.
So, in 2014, I decided to change the course for men in the divorce process by making information that was relevant to them available, free of charge, to help them through this life-changing battle, both before, during and after the divorce itself. I decided to build “The Man’s Ultimate Source for Everything Divorce”.
My hope is that you find the information you need here, that you feel like you are not alone, and that you too, will get through this very ugly time otherwise known as “divorce.”
Dennis Work, Founder of Guyvorce
P.S. If you don’t find what you need here, please email me and I will try and help you find it, or add it to our website. If you feel like sharing your own story with our Guyvorce Community, we’d love to hear from you (anonymous is fine).
Divorced with kids
Divorced, no kids