In today’s world it can be dangerous to even insinuate that men and women are not equal; however, that doesn’t mean they react to stress and process emotions the same. Divorce is often a prime example. Clearly, not all women handle divorce the same nor do all men. There are, however, some common mistakes men make when dealing with their emotional response to divorce. To help you prevent making those mistakes, Fort Worth divorce attorney Jon Boyd discusses the top five mistakes men make dealing with their emotional response to divorce.
Not dealing with their emotional response. Although this is changing, many men were raised to keep their emotions hidden. Stay strong – never show weakness. Consequently, men frequently bury strong emotions and refuse to acknowledge them. If the divorce was your idea, you may assume that since you made the decision there are no emotions you need to address; however, the end of a marriage rarely comes about without emotional consequences. If your spouse asked for the divorce, you may be even less likely to acknowledge the hurt, anger, or fear you may be feeling. Not dealing with your emotional response to the divorce can poison not just the divorce process itself, but life after divorce as well.
Retaliating. If your spouse asked for the divorce, your initial instinct may be to retaliate with a barrage of negative actions, such as cutting off her access to money, flaunting a new woman, or bad mouthing her to friends and family. If you have children, retaliating is likely to hurt them as much as your spouse – keep that in mind. With or without children, retaliating can seriously backfire if your divorce ends up in court. Your actions could lead to your spouse getting more of the marital assets and/or to you getting less time with your children.
Refusing to compromise. If the idea of ending your marriage has you feeling angry or hurt, you may be tempted to plant your feet and refuse to negotiate or compromise. “I’ll show her” is the general attitude. The law, however, may be on her side. If a court is forced to decide issues in your divorce, the court will start with the presumption of a 50-50 split of marital assets. Although that split might move slightly one direction or the other, your spouse is entitled to something if there are marital assets. She may also be entitled to spousal and/or child support. Refusing to negotiate issues may simply result in your divorce taking more time and costing more money – both of which ultimately hurt you in the long run as much (if not more) than her.
Walking away. Generally, if you have children, do not simply pack your bags and leave the marital home. Until a court order is entered saying otherwise, you have as much right to be in the home as your wife does. Leaving the home when you have minor children can hurt your chances of getting joint conservatorship down the road. There are exceptions to this general rule. If there has been domestic violence or extreme discord it may be better for the children for one of you to leave the home. This brings us to number five on the list…
Going it alone. If a divorce is imminent, speak to an experienced father’s rights divorce lawyer immediately. Men tend to wait too long to seek legal counsel for a variety of reasons. Often, this delay puts them in a precarious position when it comes to negotiating the terms of a settlement agreement. Consulting with a divorce attorney is especially crucial if you have minor children that you want joint (or sole) conservatorship of in the divorce as well as if you have significant assets that must be divided.
If you are contemplating divorce, or have already made the decision to move forward with a divorce, contact an experienced Fort Worth divorce attorney at Boyd Family Law to schedule your appointment today.