by Men's Rights Editor / in Fatherhood
Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of During Your Divorce
The moment that your wife comes into the room and says the words, “We need to talk,” everything changes. Once the word “divorce” is mentioned, nothing can be the way that it was, and for your wife, that is what she wants, leaving you to pick up the pieces and figure out your own future.
That means dealing with the uncertainty of the situation. When you get married, you are committing yourself and your future to another person, building a life and a family with them and establishing stable roots, so when the divorce experience begins, those roots become upended.
You do not want to be one of the many guys in this country who are taken advantage of during the divorce experience. You do not want to be left paying large payments in alimony and child support with an unfavorable parenting plan and a limited number of assets retained.
That is why you need to partner with a family law attorney who understands the complexities that men and fathers face during the divorce process and will work with you to ensure that your unique circumstances do not hinder you or your future.
You need to remain vigilant and understand that your future is on the line. If you are a father, it is imperative that you prioritize your children and your relationship with them at this time. You need to help them adjust to these new circumstances and make them understand that the divorce of their parents is not their fault.
You need to stay an active and engaged parent, and this can be difficult with the way child custody cases often are structured. Gender stereotypes often pervade the family court system and influence decisions against men and fathers.
Maintaining an active role in your child’s life will show the courts that you are a loving and engaged parent, making it harder for the opposing party to paint you as an absentee parent who is not interested in being the father that your children need.
You also need to remain vigilant as it pertains to your finances. When you are married, you often have joint checking accounts, joint savings accounts, joint credit cards, and both names listed as authorized users on a variety of places.
It is important that you order a credit report and review any credit card accounts that you may have been unaware that could be tied to your name. Even after time passes and the divorce is finalized, it is vital that you continue to keep an eye on your credit history, in order to ensure that no one is creating cards or accounts without your authorization.
Speaking of authorization, you need to take it upon yourself to close all joint bank accounts and make sure all joint debt is paid off, so that no further debt can be incurred jointly. If you cannot pay that debt off, be aware that your soon-to-be ex-wife may attempt to use the debt as leverage in divorce negotiations.
Any type of online account that previously featured both of your names as authorized users needs to be changed, in order to reflect the divorce. These all are steps, in order to ensure that you are not held responsible for the purchases or the incurred debt of your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Emotions After Finalization
While financial vigilance can position you in a better spot moving forward, you also need to keep in mind the dynamics of the case itself. Your soon-to-be ex-wife may attempt to paint you in a negative light, so it is vital that you share any and all pertinent information with your family law attorney, so that they are not blindsided and forced to react on the fly. This gives them the opportunity to develop a strategy suited to the bad facts or false accusations that you feel your soon-to-be ex-wife may attempt to utilize.
The fight involved in the divorce experience does not end when the decree is finalized. You or your ex-wife may look to modify aspects of the decree, such as the child custody situation, the amount paid in alimony, or the amount paid in child support.
You cannot allow yourself to be taken advantage of when it comes to an ex-spouse or co-parent. You need to be able to spend time with your children, just as your co-parent does. If you run into any resistance, contact your family law attorney, and fight for your right to be a present and active parent in your children’s lives.