Divorces are terrible. They are messy experiences where emotions are running high while a cool, calm, and collected demeanor is what is needed but rarely found. During a divorce, there are a lot of important issues that need to be sorted out. When you are hurting, it can be difficult to look at the situation rationally rather than emotionally. However, it is imperative if you want a favorable outcome.
Women tend to have the upper hand in most divorces. For one, 70% of the time, women are the ones to file for divorce. The person filing for divorce is always in a better position because they already had time to prepare. In fact, in many cases, they will hire an attorney before they even mention divorce to their spouse.
Women also typically have an edge in custody battles, as the court is generally going to favor the mother when it comes to custody. The only exceptions are if the father was clearly the primary caregiver for the children or the mother overtly neglected or abused the children.
Letting Emotions Control Actions
One of the worst mistakes that men make in a divorce is to let their actions be ruled by their emotions. Since women are more likely to file for divorce than men, they are often more prepared to approach the situation from a rational point of view. They went through the emotional struggle already when they came to the decision to file for divorce.
In the majority of cases, when someone files for divorce, the relationship has been over for them for quite some time, and they processed that ending a while ago. The person who is being sued for divorce is only just now beginning to process that the relationship is over. People often grieve the loss of a relationship, and so their emotions at the beginning of a divorce may display as the early stages of grief.
While the person filing for divorce has already come to acceptance, during the beginning of the divorce the other partner is usually working their way through denial, anger, and bargaining. Each of these stages can lead to separate, more specific, mistakes.
Taking Too Long to Hire an Attorney
Because men are often in denial at the beginning of a divorce, they tend to take too long to hire an attorney. An attorney has plenty of divorce advice for men and can help you with what steps you need to take in order to put yourself in the best possible position for your divorce. Waiting too long to hire an attorney increases your chances of making other mistakes that could hurt you in the long run.
Anger can lead men to make very poor choices. Once they are no longer in denial about the fact that their spouse is serious about going through with a divorce, men are likely to want some form of revenge against their partner for leaving them.
This anger drives them to strike out and do things like talk bad about their wife at every opportunity or lash out in some other form. Taking any negative action against your spouse can only hurt you and help put them in a better light adding to their advantage in the divorce.
Failing To Be Flexible
When a man is still stuck in anger, he is likely to be unwilling to negotiate. Failing to negotiate with your spouse will only make the divorce last longer and cost you both more money. It will also likely lead to a judge looking upon you very poorly if your obstinance led to your not being able to settle a divorce out of court, and they will almost certainly rule more favorably for your spouse if they seemed willing to negotiate.
Once the anger stage has passed, you will likely enter into bargaining. In this stage of grief, you risk going too far in the other direction from your possible actions during the anger stage. Men often make too many concessions to their spouse who has filed for divorce in hopes that by acting reasonably and giving them everything they need or want during this stage they can win them back.
However, as mentioned before, the relationship ended for the divorcing spouse long ago. So, the actions that the man takes to try to be accommodating are likely to make their position incredibly unmanageable.
Moving out of the family home is likely to assure that you lose your home. You might feel like by leaving you are giving your ex-spouse what they need and that they will appreciate that. On the contrary, though, if your spouse wants a divorce, you should tell them that you aren’t going anywhere and that they can find somewhere else to stay if they don’t want to be under the same roof.
Living Away From Your Children
Once again, you can’t let your spouse have their way if they want to take your children. Until the court has made a custody ruling, you have the right to remain with your children. While you are staying in the family home, the children should remain there with you. If your spouse decides to leave and tries to take the children, contact your lawyer.
Your attorney can file a petition for custody, which would force your spouse to prove that there is a reasonable reason why your children should be uprooted from their home and taken away from their father.
As a man, getting sole custody of your children is nearly impossible, and even getting an even split of custody can be a struggle. By staying in your home and keeping engaged with your children during the divorce you can put yourself in a good position to prove to the court that you are deserving of retaining a fair split of custody.
Not Getting Your Own Lawyer
Another bargaining tactic that men might take is to only use the lawyer hired by their spouse for the entire divorce and not hire their own legal representation. While this might show that you are willing to be reasonable, it is unlikely to win your spouse back and leaves you in a very challenging position if you sign a settlement agreement without legal representation of your own.
Going through a divorce is always going to be a terrible time, but it is only temporary. The consequences of a divorce are what you are left with after it is all over. Failing to give yourself every available advantage during the divorce process could leave you in a very tough spot after the dust has settled.