Exhausted dad caring his child trying to put her to sleep while standing outside.

Fathers Face Financial Challenges After Divorce

As a father, you want to be able to provide everything for your children. Even if you had the best childhood imaginable, you want to be able to provide more for them than what you had. That is your natural instinct, and it is that instinct that often leads you down a path of being taken advantage of.

Regardless of whether or not you were the primary earner during the course of your marriage, there is an assumption that because you are the man, you will not receive primary custody when you divorce, but you will be asked to provide the necessary child support to help your co-parent provide your children with what they need. While that may be reasonable in theory, the amount often can be a crippling reality for men facing the possibility of bankruptcy, poverty, or jail time, entirely based on the high amounts in child support.

In order to remedy this challenging financial situation, you will need a family law attorney, who understands the unique plight of fathers and will fight for your case. A family law attorney will be able to explain to family courts that modifying an existing decree will help you avoid poverty and remain the parent that your children need you to be.

Modifying child support

There is a stigma surrounding the modification of child support. The assumption is that if you pursue modification or you do not pay child support, it means that you do not love your children, nor wish to provide for them. While that may be true in some instances, it is not true for all and is not indicative of the fathers who are being dragged into poverty by payments they cannot afford to make.

Your co-parent would not be an effective parent to your shared children if they were to drag you into poverty through child support or spousal support. They would not be acting in the best interests of the children by destroying your finances and crippling your ability to be the parent that your children need.

Financial damage

Divorce can be a financially damaging moment in your life. It can impact your credit and your retirement, putting your future in jeopardy. When you untangle two lives through the division of assets, it will affect your standard of living.

In fact, men can face the standard of living loss between 10 and 40 percent, according to research from Utah State University. You and your divorcing spouse would require, on average, more than a 30-percent increase in your income or your ex-spouse’s income to maintain the same standard of living you had prior to your divorce, according to financial advisors at The Balance.

Much of the financial burden in divorce is placed on men, due to the gender stereotypes that pervade the family court systems. Men are more likely to be assigned the responsibility of alimony, designed to rehabilitate the finances of the spouse who earns less than the paying spouse.

Complications with alimony

While the idea of assisting in the financial stability of your ex-spouse is not inherently damaging to your future, many exes who pay and receive alimony become so reliant on the concept, that when modification to end alimony payments is suggested, the receiving spouse often claims that ending alimony would cease their only form of income, destroying any sense of financial stability.

Alimony is a concept never intended for permeance, and legislative efforts have been taken in many states to ensure that alimony remains realistic both in amount paid and how long it goes for.

Time and effort recovering

The amount of money paid in legal fees and the amount of money lost in the division of assets forces you to spend time in recovery. You may have to cut down your expenses, in order to save the money necessary to regain the financial standard you once maintained when you were married.

This is not a task with a set time table, and it is important to temper expectations when recovering from divorce. Everyone does it at their own pace, but with time and effort, you financially can recover from the divorce experience.

Men's Rights Editor

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