So you married the love of your life and everything is great, right? But what if your bride turns out to be your burden? If you realized that your dreams have turned into a nightmare, it may be time to consider—a divorce.
It's no secret that almost half of marriages in the United States end in divorce and sadly, you may now be becoming a statistic. Think of it this way—at least you will be free from the insanity.
Here is the best divorce advice for men that top attorneys recommend.
Now this is where things can start to deteriorate—and quickly. No matter what, money always causes problems. The odds of your almost ex-wife complying with splitting the assets is almost at 0%.
Top attorneys suggest that following these financial tips will help ensure your pocket is not hit harder than need be, in addition to keeping your sanity and financial livelihood afloat.
READ MORE: Divorce Guides In Your State
The most important thing to remember is divorce costs a lot of money (unless you are one of the lucky ones who has a reasonable wife—and then why would you be divorcing her in the first place?). To begin, start with creating a budget.
Know the numbers.
An average divorce can cost $10,000, $20,000 or more! Yes, they are that expensive. This includes the costs for the lawyer, separating marital property and potentially finding a new place to roost. Financial advice and a hired therapist for you and your children can also be factored into this cost.
Are you planning on moving out? Odds are, your ex-wife is going to want the house, so you may want to start looking for a place to relocate. Yes, it’s not fair but more times than not, the man is the one who society deems should move.
Are you used to having two incomes in the home? Yes, well, now it is time to start planning on how you are going to survive off of one income. Simple adjustments such as lowering unnecessary expenses—like the best of the best sports package—can really take some of the weight off of you.
If the above costs did not put things into perspective, this will: START SAVING! Opening a savings account is a surefire way to eliminate any potential issue in the future from bottoming you out financially.
Before you decide to move forward with the divorce, start saving. Not only will the divorce cost a fortune, but you will also need a steady safety net as you figure out your new post-divorce budget.
Here are more costs to consider:
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Attorney fees
- Moving costs
- Emotional support
- Your children’s futures
- And more
Life will come at you quickly after the divorce proceedings begin. You can assume that your wife will not want to play fairly and intends to take you for a financial ride. If she has leaned on you financially, you can expect the heavy hit to come when she demands at least half of your income and for you to maintain the lifestyle she has become accustomed to.
Legal Zoom states that an unemployed, full-time homemaker and mother may also be asked to be paid for their services raising your children and keeping house all these years. The judge will take into account a variety of components on whether or not they are eligible for spousal support. A reputable judge will not leave an unemployed spouse with no way to provide for themselves in the event of a divorce.
Gather Your Financial Documents
The next step a lawyer would advise you is to gather all of your financial documents. This is where you build your case for your post-divorce life. Do not cut any corners here!
The financial documents you need to include are:
Bank statements – These are pivotal! Bank statements truly show all of your marital assets.
Important: Bank statements also show if your spouse has tried to hide any assets from you! Be sure to include any and all checking, saving and other accounts.
Pay stubs – Be sure to gather your pay stubs to show how much income you earn. Whether or not your spouse works, these pay stubs will show whether or not spousal support will be awarded.
Retirement statement accounts – If you have done your due diligence, then you already have a retirement account (and if you don’t, now is the time to start!). Obtain your 401k, pension or other retirement accounts. These will come into handy during the divorce proceedings.
Insurance policies – Insurance policies that must be retrieved include health insurance, life insurance and any other form of insurance you have. Specifically, your life insurance policy may be worth a monetary value—and will need to be brought up in court.
Mortgages and rental agreements – Do you own property together? You will need the mortgage and/or rental agreements. If you have any vacation or investment homes, timeshares, secondary residences or commercial property, gather these documents too.
Loan documents – If you and your spouse have loans together, these will need to be divided as well as any other marital asset. Loan documents can include:
- Credit card balances
- Car leases
Check Your Credit Report
Many people are under the impression that the divorce itself affects your credit score. Experian has disproven this theory as FALSE. However, top attorneys reveal that dividing the assets of any joint accounts may indirectly affect your scores and credit history. For these reasons, it is imperative to check your credit report.
Checking your credit report sheds light on the liabilities and debts you already owe. It can also inform you what potential debts and liabilities you may have in the nearby future (which is a great piece of information to have). Your credit report and history can help you ward off any financial implications as you can predict any upcoming issues before they occur. Your lawyer can also help you with this.
Should You Stay at Home or Go
Have you considered whether or not you are going to be staying or leaving the shared property? It may be wise of you to do so BEFORE you file for divorce. Odds are your wife is going to want to keep the house. You must make the decision if you are going to put up the fight to stay put—or leave.
ISoldMyHouse.com shares several things you need to consider:
- Can you afford the house on your own?
- Will you offset your ex’s half of equity by giving up other marital assets?
- Will you refinance?
- How much is your home worth?
- Does it make more sense to stay or sell?
REMEMBER: If you choose to refinance, you will be refinancing the loan amount that already exists AND half of the existing equity of your spouse. You will also need—just yourself—to qualify for this greater loan amount.
Break Out the Prenuptial Agreement
This may be your most favorite part of the divorce process! If you were smart—and we are hoping you were—you already have a prenup in place. A prenup is a contract created for and signed by both parties before they marry. It states and specifies which assets and properties belong to each party, including any existing debt before the marriage occurs. Therefore, when a divorce happens, these assets remain in the possession of their rightful owner.
Your wife undoubtedly will fight you for more assets—even if you had them before you were married. The prenup will protect you and your beloved property.
How Much Alimony Will You Owe?
Now here is the million-dollar question: How much alimony will you owe? Divorce lawyers will tell you that if you are the breadwinner in the home, you can assure you may owe alimony to your spouse. A judge will consider the following:
- The income of you and your spouse
- What reasonable expenses exist for you and your spouse
- Whether alimony will assist in maintaining a similar lifestyle as when married (or “the standard of living establish during the marriage”)
Be aware that if your wife does not work, she may not only receive child support but spousal support too. This means that if she needs help with her housing payments, and you make enough money…you may be forced to cover the expense.
Taking Care of Yourself
It may sound like more of something you would say to a woman but guess what—men have feelings too. You must take care of yourself! No matter how tough you are, divorce is hard—and it hurts. Allow yourself to endure the process so you can heal and move on with your life.
Spend Time With Your Bros
Psychology Today states it is crucial to have a support system of at least 2 or 3 people. Your bros can serve as your “check-in” help. It doesn’t need to be anything beyond, “Hey man, you good?” Knowing people are there for you can truly help the healing process.
Plan a night out. Meet at the bar. Have a game night. Any interaction with people you can trust bar-none is the recipe for the soul.
Avoid Substance Abuse
The WORST thing you can do for yourself is to drown out the pain. As a man, it can be difficult to express your emotions—but the most damaging choice you could make for yourself is to immerse yourself in substance abuse. Not only is this expensive, but it is also toxic and can lead to an early death.
If you find yourself struggling, please reach out to your support system, family, trusted colleagues or this hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Avoid Sleeping With Everyone Willing To Have Sex With You
This may sound like a great idea at the time but trust us—it’s not. Going for the rebound(s) is a surefire way of pushing yourself further into mental despair. It may be enjoyable at the moment but it does not rid the nuisance of divorce.
You can find yourself in a worse situation if your rebound attaches to you or even worse—you end up getting her pregnant. In the meantime, focus on yourself and bettering your personal life. You are nowhere near ready to jump in the sack or in another relationship.
Men Need Emotional Support Too
It is a fallacy that men do not need emotional support. We absolutely do. Believe it or not, divorce is actually harder on men than on women. Here are some of the reasons:
- Men do not pay mind to the grieving process
- Men can lose their sense of self/identity
- Men’s health worsens
- Men miss their kiddos
- Men seek out new companions too quickly
It is vital to locate a therapist or a men’s divorce support group. Finding a group that can resonate with your divorce struggles is the key to reclaiming your identity, life and mental well-being.
Considering a divorce can really take an emotional toll on even the strongest people.
If you are in need of therapy with both privacy and convenience, we recommend Online-Therapy.com. Their incredible service gives you access to instant professional help, on any device, wherever you are in the world.
Maintain or Improve Your Health
It is time to focus on YOU. So you were the breadwinner, ‘the man’, the protector—but who protects you? You do. Now is the time to put yourself in the spotlight and to be selfish (for once!).
Carve time out in your day to reach out to new and old friends. Participate in your favorite hobbies or learn a new skill. Start a new exercise program and take your health back (revenge bods are not just for women!). It is about YOU now.
Stay Off Social Media
Social media can be the devil. The root of all evil. In terms of a divorce, you MUST heed this warning from top divorce lawyers: Anything you post on social media can and will be used against you (yes, in the court of law)! Do not think for one second that your ex and her friends are not stalking your page on social media for any ammo to beat you in court.
Take a much-needed break and steer clear. Psychology Today reported that social media also promotes self-esteem issues, and you do not need that as you go through a divorce.
Learn About This New Version of Yourself
Besides getting rid of your ex-wife, there is another plus to getting a divorce: the new and improved you! That is not reserved for just women. Men can stand to use a moment in time to better themselves and to reevaluate their priorities in their life.
After the divorce is over, things will inevitably be different. You may have relocated to a new area, perhaps a new job, met a new group of friends, discovered new hobbies—and began new lifestyles. Welcome back to bachelorhood! But before you take the plunge back into the world of singledom, it is best to work on yourself.
Here are three tips to leveling yourself up:
1. Change up your look.
Whether it be a hairstyle, new wardrobe, whiter teeth or new specs, changing up your image is a great way to amp up your fresh start. Haven’t seen the gym in a decade? Find your local gym and sign yourself up (remember, revenge bod is NOT just for women!).
Next, take yourself on a shopping spree and get yourself some new duds. Psychology Today states that retail therapy is a real thing!
2. Try something different.
It may be time to take a step out of your comfort zone. What you would have never imagined doing whilst married, now is the time to try it out! It is time to find your true purpose…and that is not just being a husband.
You may want to look into something like yoga, which provides additional mental well-being benefits as well as the chance to meet other like-minded people. Yes, men do yoga too. In fact, yoga was traditionally only studied by men in India. It takes a strong man to practice yoga—and you’re a strong man.
3. Don’t Repeat Yourself
We all have a tendency to repeat the past—since history tends to repeat itself. When living youew life, do your best to break patterns of the past. Don’t settle for the same things you settled for when you were married. You are a new man and deserve a new life.
You may struggle with self-love for the first little while after the divorce but we promise you—you will get back on your feet again. Use this time to get to know yourself again as you reinvent your life.
Amicably Stand Your Ground
Your ex-wife will undoubtedly be contacting you for this and that. You need to do your best to stand your ground on your boundaries. But first, you must set your boundaries.
Start by only communicating through email. This takes the emotion out of it—which is probably how you function anyway. It also gives you more time to think before you respond because odds are, your interactions with your spouse are more than likely not enjoyable at this point.
Don't Hold on to Negativity
If you haven’t seen Frozen, it’s a Disney movie whose main line is “Let it go, let it go!” This is the precise mantra you need to manifest in your life. Holding onto negativity stalls the healing process and makes matters much, much worse.
Whatever she did that hurt you or angered you, you must find a way to let it go. You cannot move on to your new life and simultaneously be holding on to negativity and things that hurt you in the past. Let. It. Go.
Now it’s time to discuss the tedious part of divorce—the legal area. Your best bet is to research a reputable divorce attorney. Your legal team should be aggressive and knowledgeable in divorce.
Educate Yourself About the Divorce Process
Many men may assume the lawyers will do everything, which is their job, yes. However, it is imperative that you arm yourself with legal knowledge as well. Educating yourself about the divorce process takes any sudden or surprise out of the already uncomfortable process. The more you know, the more you can help your legal team help you.
Hire a Reputable Attorney
There is the old saying: You get what you pay for. This, in fact, can be true. Do not settle for the first lawyer you meet. Interview multiple lawyers and see who fits your needs. It will be an easy answer. When you meet the right legal team, you will know it.
Hiring the right versus the wrong attorney can be the difference between settlement payments that you accept—and settlement that will haunt you for many years to come (along with your ex-wife).
You may feel free of your wife now but remember—you must watch your step. Stay off of social media, out of the same places you two used to frequent together and out of her eyesight. She and her lawyers will be watching for any missteps that can incriminate you.
Do not overspend either. If you show you have extra funds, that may bite you in the end—and end up in her pocket too. Even more importantly, photos or any proof you are out partying or acting recklessly can cost you your child and custody. Yes, it is that serious.
Comply With the Court Orders
As much as you may hate it, you must comply with court orders. Your job is to follow the rules. Do not for one moment believe you are above the law. Not complying with court orders can affect your child custody, spousal support and your own freedom.
Ever heard of being in contempt of court? That is when you are arrested for violating court orders and thrown heavy fines. This can also affect your employment status. No matter what, follow the rules.
Here is the tricky part: parenting with your ex-spouse. Yes, it can be difficult but you can do it. Your children are worth every moment you may have to bite your tongue when dealing with your ex. The kiddos deserve a healthy example and a chance at a successful life, and it is up to you and your ex to provide this for them.
Be the Best Co-Parent You Can Be
Now you must remember, you and your wife are no longer together, but you both owe your children love. Divorce is traumatic for children, so do not add to their trauma. That starts by not bad-mouthing your ex to your children. She is the mother of your children, whether you like it or not.
Stay civil with your ex and keep the communication light and only regarding the children. Do not feed into the emotion and any drama that may come up. Think of this as a new beginning. You and your ex-spouse must decide to cooperate for the benefit of your kids. Design a co-parenting plan together and stick to it.
Give Your Kids A lot of Support
The kids are really going to need you as they adjust to their new life; it’s not just you and your ex-wife that will be hurting. Give them your undivided, loving attention. Do your best to schedule fun activities as they heal with their world being turned upside down.
Keep things light and enjoyable as you continue to raise and bond with your kids. Be patient and supportive of them. They need you now more than ever.
Avoid Bringing the Kids Into Divorce Drama
What happens in front of your children, stays with your children. DO NOT fight with your ex-wife in front of the kids. Your children are going to need much reassurance through the divorce process. They need to know you love them and are still going to be there for them after the divorce is finalized.
Do not talk solely about the divorce with your kiddos. Divert their attention to exciting, fun things. Remember, they are still children and are very impressionable. Fill their minds with happiness and love, not divorce drama and your own anger and ego as you heal yourself.
Final Advice for Men Going Through a Divorce
Divorce is hard, point blank period. It is no walk in the park. You, your wife and your children will all be put through the wringer. Remember to take the time to prepare yourself for the winding road up ahead and start saving. Gather all the necessary documents and hire a remarkable legal team to fight for your rights.
Use this time to reinvent and better yourself. You no longer need to settle for less than you deserve. This is your time to become the man you have always wanted to be and continue to be a great father. Reach out to your bros and create the support group that will help you through this divorce. Finding new hobbies provides space to meet new, exciting people and to fall in love with your life again.
You can do this.
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