Men are tough creatures (most of the time). They don’t want to show emotion, they put on a good front and go forward with logic. They trek through a divorce like Mr. Spock on the outside and like Amanda Bynes on the inside. Before the term divorce is even mentioned, men are terrified of the consequences that’ll hit them when a Judge gets involved. Men will avoid divorces because they have very valid fears that hold them back. Every time they wish to move on, they hold themselves back because a friend says, “She’ll get half of everything even though you’ve only been married six months. She’ll get a good lawyer, and you’ll be on the streets.” Or they might say “You’ll never see your kids again. Judges always prefer the moms.” Stop over thinking these fears. How about we just address them right now? Perhaps that way you’ll “live long and prosper” instead of worrying yourself to death!
- She will take my children from me. First, what have you done to make you think that? If you’ve been a good father regardless of if you’ve been a great husband, the court will not see that keeping your children from you is in their best interests. There was this thing called the “tender years doctrine” a while back where women were seen as the primary caretaker automatically. It took a woman going cray cray to stop her from getting full custody. Today, more and more judges are moving toward joint custody arrangements. They see that having both parents involved, YES EVEN YOU DADDY, as what’s best for the children. Think about it, it’s only common sense. If staying a family is the go-to way to keep kids in a stable environment, doesn’t it make sense that allowing both parents to visit and take care of the children after the divorce would be the best alternative
- She will get my business. Perhaps the two of you created the business together or maybe she ran the books and you are the “talent.” The Judge isn’t going to run a perfectly good business into the ground for the sake of equitable division. Most of the time, we, as lawyers, negotiate a way to separate the two of you without destroying the business whether it be that she gets a property settlement for her interest in the business, or she keeps the business and you get a property settlement. Sometimes there is restructuring involved which may involve some finance geniuses. Whatever it may be, if you are the “talent” or the one who is performing the business and she’s merely helping, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be the one leaving. It’s more likely the two of you can negotiate a win-win for both of you.
- She will take all of my money now. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement that states if you did something awful she gets all of your money immediately upon a divorce, it is unlikely that any court will say “She gets it all because he refused to empty the trash last week” or “She gets it all because they can’t get along!” Here’s the deal, the court will look to equitably divide everything. This doesn’t mean equally, but it means that they will look at what’s fair under the circumstances. If you have a wandering eye, that will be taken into account. If you are downing two bottles of scotch and beating your wife, that will be taken into account. However, if the two of you fell out of love, and there’s no way to fix things, it’s not likely that the judge will say it is equitable to leave you with nothing.
- She will take all of my future money. When it comes to alimony and future payments, the amount is based on a few factors, the most important being what you’re both currently accustomed to having. It is rare that I’ve seen someone modify money up in alimony later on in life. Normally, it is more likely for people to modify alimony down because someone isn’t making as much money as they were during the marriage or they had retired, etc. If you’re concerned about child support, well that ends at 19 years and if you end up with a true split custody arrangement, the two of you should be sharing in the associated costs. If I were you I wouldn’t be too concerned about her being able to take your starship in the future. (Besides that’s not her money it’s the kid’s money). If she’s not accustomed to the U.S.S. Enterprise when you divorce, they won’t be beaming her up anytime soon.
She will take all of my retirement. There is a 10 year rule that if the two of you have been married over ten years, she MAY get half of your retirement. It’s not a guarantee, but it is in place so that she has a retirement too if she has been a stay at home mother or has given up having a retirement to pay for marital bills. However, this goes both ways meaning if she has a retirement and you don’t you MAY get a portion of hers. Don’t let fear of her sipping margaritas in Florida or on the Officer’s Lounge on of your dime keep you from years of happiness.