Films and TV shows often depict women going through a divorce as celebrated victims. On the other side, men are typically portrayed as silent sufferers who feel anger, fear, resentment, and fear over the emotional turmoil of a breaking family and lingering financial distress.
In truth, though, men don’t always have the tools to deal with such issues. Men will naturally decide to keep their divorce matters private and avoid involving any friends or family. While the emotional aspect of the divorce can be handled later with the help of therapists, peers, etc., men need to address their finances in a good time.
Even though you’ve been handling the family’s finances while still married, you still need to recognize your financial and legal options. Getting a financial expert or men’s divorce attorney, or monitoring your finances yourself are proactive steps you can take instead of allowing the divorce case to happen to you. Here are financial tips men can take advantage of during their divorce.
Know the Cost for Divorce
Getting a divorce is expensive, especially for men with high net worth businesses. The cost may cross the 20k dollar mark if you have to find a second place to live, hire a therapist for your kids, and divorce lawyers for men to represent you.
While the costs may vary, the numbers might skyrocket if you need to hire niche experts such as a forensic accountant to provide the best interest evaluation of your business or marital property.
However, a divorce with already established terms even before filing, and doesn’t have any kids involved or any other hotly contested matter – can be cheap.
As a man with kids, always remember that the more money you use in extreme litigation, the less money your kids will have: education, savings, etc. Let your partner understand this too.
Don’t Be Too Proud To Collect Alimony
If your soon-to-be ex-wife left the workforce to support the family, you might have to support her financially even after your divorce is finalized. Depending on your state, this alimony payment may be a lump sum amount, regular payments, or any other arrangement, such as a cut on a check.
In situations where the wife made more money than the man, maybe because the man is a stay at home father, the ex-husband may be entitled to get spousal support. This is a growing trend in America and shouldn’t make you feel belittled. Most men will start feeling insecure about the whole situation but remember you sacrificed your career to take care of the entire family. So, accept any spousal support you’ll be awarded because you’re entitled to it.
If your marriage has kids, you’ll be required to pay child support, which is different from spousal support. These payments will cover what the child needs like food, clothing, education expenses, etc. However, most parents will start arguing over these costs.
The needs of a child may be difficult to itemize and quantify in monetary value. Most dads will feel like child support payments may not be benefiting their children directly. Therefore, many will ask for slips, statements, invoices, etc.
There may be hybrid solutions to such problems. Rather than sending the money to your ex-wife and fighting over it later, look for ways you can pay a service provider directly. For example, if you have to pay for your child’s transportation or child care, pay it directly to the provider. This of course will depend on your state child support laws.
Learn Budgeting Skills
Most men will only think about the money they need to pay as divorce-related expenses – alimony, child support, the divorce itself. Many will forget that everyday expenses will abruptly change once they are single again.
For instance, if you have kids and are awarded joint custody, you may need to purchase new toys for your new house. It would be best if you balanced your needs and wants through an efficient budget that considers your present and future needs. You may need to sit down with a financial planner to discuss logistics and ways to manage your financial future.
Move Your Documents to Safe Storage
When getting ready to face your spouse in a divorce petition, she might go through your things, trying to get evidence against you. Any document with your financial information is a potential piece of evidence.
Plan on how you will move your papers, documents and records to a different location such as to the office of your men’s divorce attorney or a friend’s place.
Don’t Make Promises Too Soon
One common mistake men make in divorce is making promises before they understand the true situation. Do not promise her anything until you have all the facts about the law, your budget post-divorce, your rights, and her rights too.
Even though your promises are unreasonable or unattainable, she will hold you to them. For instance, if you have children and you are planning to co-parent, don’t start the co-parenting relationship with promises you don’t intend to keep. It will hurt both of you.
Retirement plans and pensions acquired during the marriage are regarded as marital property and can be divided by the court. Many men have an emotional attachment to such funds and often try to negotiate a settlement that will allow them to keep these types of assets. However, remember that these are considered taxable income once you receive them.
If you’ve been earning more than your wife, you’re likely to be in a higher tax bracket than her. Use this opportunity to give her the entire settlement, which will then be adjusted to her tax rate. You will end up saving a lot in taxes.
Take Inventory of Your House Possessions
To be on the safe side, take an inventory of everything in your house. You can videotape or take pictures of the house, including any furniture, clothing, jewelry, appliances, etc. If something suddenly misses from the house, you will have evidence for it. Note that you will need to date your inventory.
Move Your Safe Deposit Box and Any Valuables
If you have any valuables in the house, such as jewelry, cash, artwork, and collections, it is time to move them out of the house. You can use a safe deposit box away from the house to store your valuables. If you have a safe deposit box in the house and your spouse has access to it, you may want to move any valuables to a safe location.
This is not a way of hiding things but a way of protecting your valuables. You don’t want to come home from work to find your valuables sold off at a yard sale. Repeat this for any storage units you may have.
Our last tip is for you to realize that you don’t know everything. Many men will try to engage in money-saving activities such as attempting to go for a do-it-yourself divorce. This is a terrible idea. Divorce petitions have extreme complexities – both legal and financial – you wouldn’t be aware of until they are mentioned in court. You will save thousands of dollars if you efficiently cover your bases at the outset.
Getting professional advice is the very least you can do to ensure your agreement is enforceable. Otherwise, get an experienced divorce lawyer for men right away. The first consultation meeting will give you a good idea of what lies ahead of you and what strategy to take, depending on your needs and circumstances.
Divorce is a major life event. Men naturally try to suppress what they feel, but this shouldn’t be your case. It is okay to grieve, be emotional, or hurt, and feel the pain of divorce. But this shouldn’t mean engaging in impulsive financial decisions to compensate for what you feel inside.
We encourage you to avoid making any significant financial decisions that could potentially affect your future for at least one year. During this period, avoid switching jobs or moving to a new city. In essence, maintain a status quo for one year as you deal with this adjustment.