Filing for a divorce as a man can be a scary proposition. Let’s face it, the court is not on your side and anything you do, or have done in the past is now up for debate as to whether it shows that you’re a fit father. Divorce laws in the US protect the children, as they should, but mostly what that means is that usually the children by default will go to their mother and the father will end up paying child support. If you’re a father this shouldn’t bother you, you’re paying for the well fare of your child(ren) after all. What is painful is that you have no control over how that money is spent, or who and what it’s spent on. Your ex-wife doesn’t have to account to you or the family judge for what she’s purchased, who she’s spending the money on or how much she’s personally contributed. If you don’t like that, essentially tough luck. That’s the way it is, think about this the next time you’re considering marriage. That topic is outside the scope of this article.
When you’re considering filing for divorce, you’re going to need to consider whether you need to hire a lawyer. The financial pain is only beginning at this point, but hang in there… eventually you’ll die and this will be all over. Just kidding, you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel soon enough but for now you have to man up and get through this. Finding an attorney is a bit like pulling teeth, without the satisfaction of the defective tooth being gone afterwards. Here’s a few things you should know that no one will tell you.
- A divorce attorney‘s retainer is an initial fee for their service, the total for their expertise will be a lot more than the first payment.
- If you think you’ll hire a “father’s rights” attorney because they’ll be better equipped to help you you’re wrong. It’s usually a marketing gimmick and no state Bar associations recognize any attorney as having a specialty in “father’s rights”.
- Do you need a Family Law Specialist? Maybe. If there’s a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, if you anticipate child custody issues or if you have significant assets, (over $1M), you should consider a Family Law Specialist.
- Consider an “Uncontested Divorce”. This means you have worked out everything with your wife and you just need someone to take care of the details you haven’t thought of and the legal paperwork. Under these circumstances the attorney will usually not give any advice to either party individually, they’re just there to make sure everything is completed properly.
- You may even want to consider hiring a paralegal if you and your soon-to-be ex-wife just need the paperwork filed with the local court. These circumstances are best if there are no children and no significant assets, (real property or businesses), to be divided.
The Internet is a wealth of information for you if you’re willing to sift through the numerous websites for the golden nuggets that can help you. I wish you the best of luck on your journey and hope that your divorce works out for the best for you and your family.
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/74285857@N05/