In many cases, divorce is something that catches one spouse by surprise. Men are often left with their mouth agape when their wife tells them they no longer want to be married and are filing for divorce. A man’s ego can be a very fragile thing, especially when the woman he loves tells him she no longer wants to be with him. It is often a time of emotional turmoil, even for the strongest of men.
When children are added to the equation, it makes things even more difficult. You start to doubt yourself, especially in your role as a husband and a father. What will your role be in the future with your children? Will she file for full custody and/or try to cut you out of their lives? How can you protect both your property and your rights as father?
Dealing with the Emotions of Divorce
It is very easy to let your emotions get the best of you during a divorce. You really need to control not only how you feel, but also what you say as well as how you act around your spouse during divorce. You must understand, the less amicable the situation, the more difficult it will be to settle the divorce. While you may want to remain married, she does not, and nothing is going to change that.
As difficult as it may be, you need to take a step back and go about this with a clear head. We are not telling you to put your feelings or emotions aside, quite the contrary. Doing that will eventually lead to an outburst that could cost you everything. Instead, deal with them in a proper manner, such as counseling, that will enable you to deal with your spouse in a reasonable manner.
Dealing with a Stressful Divorce
Stress will not only hurt you during your divorce, but it will wear you down both physically and emotionally. If you are going to get through this divorce, you will need to learn how to manage your stress.
- Physical activities – you are going to have a lot of negative emotions and physical activity will help you burn off some of that anger. Additionally, the activity itself will help keep you fit and get you into a better state of mind.
- Emotional help – very few people are able to deal with a divorce on their own. Be it a good friend that allows you to vent or a professional therapist that helps you work through your emotions, get the help you need.
- If you cannot control it, let it go – easier to say than to do, and we understand this, but you really need to grasp this concept. There are some things you can control while there are others that simply need to take their own course. Once you get to a point, certain things are beyond your control and you cannot let the possible outcomes eat at you inside.
- Stay positive mentally – try to stay away from things that will create a flood of memories. Stick to doing things that allow you to stay positive. Maybe it is reading a book, going for a bike ride, or taking a walk on the beach. Literally, find your “happy place” and go there as often as you can.
- Stay away from self-destruction – local tap rooms are littered with men and women going through tough times. Rehabs are filled with individuals that sought solace in the form of drugs or alcohol during a divorce. Avoid putting yourself into any situation that would allow you to lose control.
- Think before acting – making a decision while you are emotional is always a mistake. There will be times during this process that you will be angry, hurt, and/or stressed. Do not act on these emotions when making decisions during your case. Even if you are in the middle of negotiations, take a break or ask to have it continued until you can reign in your emotions.
- You can still have fun – your marriage is over, but your life is not. While it may take some time for you to “get back out there,” it does not mean you cannot have some fun. Get together with friends, go to a ballgame, take a vacation, just allow yourself to realize what it is to have fun again so you can put the divorce behind you and move on with life.
The Divorce Legal Process
If your wife has filed for divorce, you can rest assured she has already hired a divorce attorney. This means you need to do the same as quickly as possible. You are about to be hit with a flurry of legal documents, many of which will require a proper response within a specific period. Your attorney will be able to assist you in all of this and help your protect your assets and rights.
How the process itself proceeds will largely depend upon the laws of your state. Again, this is something your attorney will be able to explain in full as well as properly guiding you through the process.
Protecting Your Rights as a Father during Divorce
Amazingly, most people believe the Family Courts are still biased towards women. One would think that with so many work at home fathers and two income households that this would change. The pendulum may be swinging back to even, but it is hardly there yet. However, much of this still falls on fathers that are simply not aggressive enough in their demands.
Because of past bias, many fathers still believe they do not have any chance in the courts when it comes to gaining custody of their children. Because of recent trends, though, fathers that are aggressively pursuing split custody with their wife are finding success. This is something you should immediately address with your attorney to make sure he or she knows you are very serious about gaining custody of your children.
Protecting Your Share of Marital Assets
One of the first steps in dividing marital property during divorce is establishing what qualifies as marital property and what does not. Once again, state laws will dictate how this is done, but we do have some general guidelines that should help you establish a list of marital assets to be discussed during the divorce process.
What is Marital Property?
During the divorce, you and your spouse will have to decide on the division of assets. Both of you are much better off if you can come to an agreement prior to the case going in front of the judge, as his or her decision may not be to either of your liking. First, though, you must establish what is and what is not marital property.
In most cases, any property or assets collected during the marriage are considered marital property. In addition, any personal assets that were folded into the marital assets would be considered marital property. Items that would not be marital property, even if they were acquired during the marriage, are:
- Any property acquired after the legal separation took place
- Any property that was given to either person as a gift
- Any property that has been excluded by previous agreement between the two parties (prenuptial agreement)
- Andy property that has already been awarded to the spouse from the divorcing spouse in a prior judgement
- Any property acquired prior to the marriage that has been kept separate from the marital assets
Get help for your divorce now by filling out the Free Family Law Evaluation Form!