A Step-By-Step Guide to Divorce, for Men

Updated 03/24/19
Credit: Layland Masuda. Getty Images

Divorce is usually a one-sided decision which may catch the other spouse off-guard. Very rarely do couples sit down and come to the decision to end their marriage together. In some situations, a spurned husband is left to struggle with the consequences of his partner's decision to file for a divorce. 

Such rejection is a huge blow to a man’s emotional equilibrium. He is left with sleepless nights, thoughts of no longer fathering his children on a daily basis and fears of not being able to protect his legal rights in a family court system that some say favor women and mothers during the divorce process.

This article will help you by giving advice from a man and father’s point of view. Below you will find links to articles that will guide you through commonly faced problems men deal with during the divorce process. 

Coping With the Emotional Aspects of Divorce

The process of divorce is a legal one. There is no place in any legal process for extreme emotions. The most important thing a man can do is deal with the emotional aspect of divorce in a way that doesn’t allow them to interfere with the legal issues. 

In other words, you need a clear head, where your thought process is led by logic and not anger or fear. The only way to keep emotions from co-mingling with the legal process is to learn good coping strategies. Don’t bury your emotions and don’t deny your feelings; instead, work through them so that you can be at your best when fighting for your legal divorce rights. 

Men are said to be better at compartmentalizing their emotions and therefore may seem fit for the legal aspect of the divorce process. However, this depends on the type of person you are, and how you heal from your divorce in your time and on your terms. Do not let yourself become complacent simply due to the stereotype that women are more emotional than men—your ex will fight hard in court, and you will need to prepare too. 

How Men can Navigate the Legal Process of Divorce

So, where do you start once you’ve dealt with issues of the heart? With a divorce attorney of course! You’ve got a lot to consider and a lot to protect, so be sure to hire your attorney after some consideration. You will want a good divorce attorney who can negotiate to protect your role as a father and all those assets you and your wife have acquired through the years.

How Men can Protect Their Child Custody Rights During Divorce

The family court system is said to be biased toward women when it comes to child custody. Change is afoot, though, and fathers who are willing to go the extra mile are gaining more time with their children after divorce. More and more fathers are gaining fifty-fifty custody and in some cases legal custody of their children. 

It's imperative as fathers that you not be swayed from fighting for custodial time with your children based on stories you read online. The Father's Rights Movement makes a lot of noise about fathers not being able to gain equal shared or full custody of their children, but you don't know what the outcome will be in your case until you've tried in court to gain your rightful parenting time. 

It is imperative that every father realizes the importance of their role in a child’s life. Your wife may want a divorce, that doesn’t mean you have to become a visitor in your child’s life. When hiring an attorney make sure they understand your desire to gain as much custody as possible and is willing to go to bat for you in court. 

What Men Should Expect During the Divorce Process

The steps you will go through during the divorce process will depend upon the district you live in. Every state has differing divorce laws and every county has its own procedure. Your divorce attorney will be and should be willing to walk you through what the divorce process will be like for you.

Understanding the Division of Marital Assets During Divorce

When dividing property during divorce a court will first determine if the property is marital or non-marital property. This can be a very complicated process and is dealt with according to your state's laws. Like with everything else, this will be something to speak to your attorney about. 

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