I switched jobs not that long ago and was SHOCKED, SHOCKED JERRY (for my old school Seinfeld people) about the men in my department close to my age bracket that were all going through a recent divorce. It is safe to say that the institution of marriage has never been in worse shape in America since 1776. Stable marriage in America and many other countries is in decline and it is primarily women pursuing the divorces. These divorces are not your stereotypical reasons for divorce of years gone by such as infidelity or physical abuse. The root causes of these divorces are much more insidious. Entitlement, boredom and I’m not haaaaappy for a minute oh my. If a society rewards bad behavior with a financial windfall what else is to be expected?
So what separates me as a relatively happily divorced man vs. most of my colleagues? I was not totally blindsided by my divorce. I saw a few signs that my marriage was not stable and started to make contingency plans to minimize my damage if (when) things unraveled. I was under no illusions that I was living in a 50s marital fantasy land where women stick it out through the rough points and honor their vows made before God. I wish we were still living in that day and age but it has past us by forever and men need to wise up and realize that divorce is possible anytime.
What mistakes did the new colleagues (3 recent divorces in the department) of mine make when they were presented with divorce? They were blindsided by the divorce papers and reacted without taking time to consider their positions. They reacted too quickly and rushed to finalize the deal giving away the farm in the process. They lost the house. They agreed to pay for way more alimony than their deal breaking ex was entitled under state law. They agreed to way more child support than was required especially since they were splitting time with the children nearly 50-50.
Don’t rush into agreeing to any paperwork under emotional duress after getting served divorce papers
Don’t use a “mutual” lawyer chosen by your soon to be ex who will “represent” you both. This is how men get screwed over. Determine what your rights are and protect them with representation as needed.
Don’t agree to alimony without determining what your worst case court imposed “sentence” would be. In many divorces nowadays alimony is no longer just and should be resisted with every fiber of your being. Marriage is a contract and the person ending the contract (cases of infidelity or significant physical abuse notwithstanding) should not benefit from their dishonesty.
Don’t feel you need to be Mr. Nice Guy and agree to whatever terms her greedy lawyers have drawn up. Frivolous divorces are evil and should not be rewarded. Don’t let her lies flip the script and make you the bad guy.
Can’t afford a decent lawyer, try to get a wise trusted relative in your corner. Don’t have any of that contact me and I will offer you some free advice from a guy that has been there.
Men wake up and don’t treat your soon to be ex like the woman you thought or wished she was. Treat her like the viper who is trying to ruin you financially (unless she is reasonable and comes at you with fair terms).
Read my previous post on divorce mistakes men make so you won’t get blindsided and become alimony roadkill on the divorce superhighway.