While contemplating divorce, men take for granted the amount of time they have to set themselves up for success.
The first step is to make a list of goals, and then work toward putting yourself in position to achieve those goals should the divorce be imminent.
For example, if your goal is to be a legal joint-decision maker with your spouse, then begin to place yourself in a position that will be favorable to you in the future.
Start by taking a proactive approach to small decisions, like what to have as a family for dinner or how to best help your child with homework, and work your way up to bigger decisions.
If your goal is to be able to spend an equal amount of time with your child as your spouse does, then begin to place yourself in a position that will be favorable to you in the future.
If not already doing so, take over some of the responsibilities of pick-up and drop-off from school/daycare. You can also look into the possibility of adjusting your work schedule to facilitate some of these responsibilities. Overall, just plan, plan, plan.
If you are considering divorce in 2016, it is important to remember that the financial aspects of the divorce can become the biggest hurdle.
Not only may you face paying child support and spousal support to your ex-spouse, but you will very likely also lose a portion of your assets in equitable distribution. This could effect your access to cash going forward. Thus, it is important to not rush into a divorce.
Talk to a family law attorney to get an idea about what your situation could look like after a divorce and then go and talk to a financial planner about how best to prepare for the result and what you can do thereafter to rebuild your assets.
Above all, make sure that you are financially AND emotionally healthy enough to endure the process, because divorce is a lengthy and strenuous undertaking.
Guys need to gather all necessary documents and information regarding their financial situation, their spouse and the children if they have any.
In many cases, one spouse is generally in charge of the finances, children’s school records and things of that sort. If that is not you, then you need to get copies and a good grasp on the situation because as soon as a divorce is filed, these documents can become difficult or impossible to access.
In many cases, a lack of knowledge regarding the children can and will be used against you in a custody fight.
Once you have the documents and information regarding your financial situation, you need to decide what, if any, financial professional you will need to hire. Most divorce attorneys are not financial planners, and as such are not able to give advice regarding taxes or even asset management or division.
For example, as your attorney, I cannot tell you which retirement account has the greatest value long term. I can only look at the present value. It would require a financial planner to tell you and me that we should seek a larger portion of a specific account, as it will have a greater value to you in the long run.
When considering a divorce, there are several steps a guy should take to protect his interests. The first step a guy should take is to meet with an attorney to discuss all of the potential issues in his case.
It is extremely important to meet with an attorney first before discussing the possibility of divorce with your wife, as you want to make sure that your interests will be protected.
The second step a guy should take is organizing and obtaining his financial documents, including recent bank statements, pay stubs and any retirement account information. Gathering these documents and providing the documents to your attorney will assist in resolving your case in an efficient manner.
Finally, if you do decide you would like a divorce, do not move out of the marital home. Moving out can signal to the court that you do not want to keep the marital home, and sometimes the court will order you to continue contributing to the household bills, thereby increasing financial strain on you during the divorce proceeding.
Also, when children are involved, oftentimes moving out will decrease your ability to see your children during the divorce, which can negatively impact your parenting time in the future.
If you are considering a divorce in 2016, the best first step is to contact an attorney. In many cases, it is appropriate to retain an attorney to begin pre-divorce planning.
Because your attorney-client relationship is confidential, your spouse need not be made aware that are are consulting with counsel and are looking into divorce.
Your attorney can advise you regarding the ins and outs of the divorce process, what to expect financially, and can provide much needed advice on how to maximize time with your children in a preparing for a potential custody fight.
Additionally, your attorney can provide you with a list of all of the financial information he or she will need in preparing for the dissolution of the marriage. By ensuring you are fully aware of the process and potential outcomes, you will be much more prepared in both settlement discussions and potential litigation.
If you are a guy considering divorce in 2016, here are a few things you might want to do:
- Gather financial information such as tax returns, bank records, documentation related to any gifted or inherited assets you’ve received during or before the marriage, and your, and your spouse’s income information for 2015.
- Schedule a consultation with a domestic litigation attorney to discuss your situation and how the laws of your state will impact your divorce.
- Make your children a priority – be as active and involved as you can be. If you haven’t been attending their activities, going to parent/teacher conferences and have never taken them to a doctor or dentist appointment, start doing those things. You want to lay groundwork to show that you’re an involved parent who has a major role in your children’s lives.
- If your spouse isn’t working, try to convince her that she should get a job.
- Don’t take on any new debt, make any major purchases, or dispose of or hide any assets.