9 Common Sense Pieces of Divorce Advice for Men

by Stephen Waldo

divorce advice for men
divorce advice for men

“My wife says she wants a divorce, and I can tell she’s done her homework. I’m totally unprepared for this divorce… Help!

If your wife’s told you she wants divorce, then there’s a decent chance that she’s already talked to a lawyer. If not, she’s at least spent some time studying up on divorce, or surrounding herself with pro-divorce influencers.

You, on the other hand, have done none of this, which is probably why you feel so unprepared for the legal battle that is to come. Fortunately, that’s about to change right now.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer. What follows is the anecdotal advice of a legal lay person. I am simply a conduit for other men’s experience, gleaned from my years of coaching men through separation. This is advice is not meant as a substitute for seeking legal advice from a professional.

We spend a lot of time on this website talking about how to get your wife back and how to rekindle your marriage, but one of the sad facts of life is that sometimes things just don’t work out. I wish I didn’t have to write this post, but some men need it, so I did.

If you’ve tried everything you possibly can and divorce is still going to happen, then you may as well roll up your sleeves and start getting dirty.

Table Of Contents

I’m not the type of guy who’d go into a divorce trying to make my wife miserable, so the divorce tips you’re about to read are taken from that point of view.

The purpose of the strategies you’re about to read are to teach you how to come out of this divorce with what YOU want… Both your possessions and your dignity. On the other hand, if what you really want is to change your wife’s mind about divorce <== read that

Tip #1.
Keep Your Kids in Mind, Amicable Divorce is Not a Myth!

If you have kids, you need to remember throughout this entire divorce that THEY are going to be the most hard-hit by this legal battle.

There are really two distinct crises in your life:

The first is the crisis in your marriage. You and your wife’s divorce is a crisis in your marriage relationship.

But your kids have another crisis. Their parents are getting divorced. This crisis is unique and distinct from the crisis in your marriage.

Even though they’ll probably never sit down with you, your wife and your lawyers, they’ll still experience the most emotional, mental and physical consequences.

  • They’ll spend nights thinking about their part in the divorce.
  • They’ll blame themselves for your decisions.
  • They’ll be torn between you and your wife, feeling obligated to pick sides.

The friendlier you can stay with your wife, the better it’ll be for your kids. There’s no way to get through a divorce without hurting your kids in some way, but you can soften the blow.

No matter what happens between you and your wife, your no-matter-what goal should be to support your wife’s relationships with your children, and her no-matter-what goal should be to do the same to you.

Tip #2.
You Won’t Get Everything, So Make Priorities Ahead of Time

Want to experience a nasty, lengthy and painful divorce? Go into it expecting to get everything.

Instead, prioritize the things that you want to get; it’ll make negotiation much easier. Think through everything that you and your wife own. Furniture, finances, cars, televisions, appliances, etc. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to make a list of your top priorities.

By having this list of priorities laid out ahead of time, even if you don’t share it with your wife, it’ll make things easier for everybody.

Tip #3.
Divide Big Assets First, Little Things Later

Obviously, your lawyer will know more about how to handle negotiations. But, in general it’s better to start with the big three:

  1. Cars
  2. House
  3. Savings

Once you get those 3 things out of the way, start running down your list of specific priorities that we created earlier.

Since divorce is a naturally drawn-out process, getting these big things out of the way early lets you adjust your strategy as needed once you see how they’re distributed.

Tip #4.
Don’t Move Out Until the Divorce Agreement Is Finalized

This is a classic mistake that almost everyone regrets once they’re in front of a judge.


Because many courts assume that the first person to move out is the one who needs the house the least. In other words, moving out before your wife forfeits your chance at claiming the house (if you’re interested in doing that).

I know that it’s probably difficult to live under the same roof as your wife, but you need to make it work. Do not be the person to move out of your house. Don’t “give her space” by going to live with one of your buddies or relatives.

Tip #5.
Respect How Much Divorce Will Drain You

The process of divorce is draining in every way.

  • It drains you physically because of the sheer amount of time required.
  • It drains you financially because you’re splitting your bank account and paying for a lawyer.
  • It drains you emotionally because the foundation of your livelihood was pulled out from under you.

And guess what?

Even if it was your wife’s idea to get a divorce, she’s being drained just as much as you. She’s financially stressed, physically stressed and she’s certainly emotionally stressed.

Take these extraordinary levels of stress into account as you’re coping with the divorce. It won’t feel this bad forever.

Above all, even though she’s probably exhibiting most of the worst divorce signs and things probably aren’t completely amicable between the two of you, you still don’t want to dig yourself into a situation you might regret.

TL;DR – Keep your dignity and maintain a calm and collected demeanor. Think about everything you say before you say it.

Tip #6.
Any Suspicion of Spousal Mischief? Write Down Everything

If you have a lawyer, they’re probably telling you the same thing.

Anytime you and your wife communicate with each other, make a point to write down the content and result of your conversation.

It’s important to have a written record of everything that happens between you and your wife, because this ensures that she can’t say something you know is untrue.

The more you write down, the easier it’ll be to stay in control of your divorce and make sure it doesn’t go anywhere unexpected.

Tip #7.
The More You Agree, The Cheaper it’ll Be

The most agreeable couples can get by with just a mediator, and minimal mediation at that. And no, this does not always mean things go faster. In fact, sometimes just the opposite…

Some of the longest separations I’ve seen, the men who’ve been able to give their marriage the most runway, actually did it by making things easy for their wife.

Either way, there’s no such thing as a cheap divorce, but the more you agree, the less time you spend negotiating with lawyers, and therefore the cheaper the divorce will be. Conversely, the more you disagree, the more you pay.

Ultimately, as I said at the start, trust the guidance of your attorney. They know what’s best way more than I do. But here’s the numbers…

An average divorce settlement costs around $6,000 on the cheap end. Several factors can move that figure up or down, but nothing makes as big a difference in the bottom line as how agreeable you and your wife are with each other.

If you two agree on everything, which rarely happens, then you could finish the divorce proceedings with less than $3,000 out of your pocket (including court fees, retainer fees, etc.). However, if you and your wife disagree and scrap over every little thing, then you could easily pass the $10,000 mark.

Tip #8.
Have a Plan Going into the Divorce

I don’t mean that you need to have a plan for every little item that you want to claim; I mean have a plan for the future, after the divorce is over.

  • Have an Emotional Plan – What are you going to do to keep yourself confident and happy? Join a gym? Start dating again? Spend more time with your friends? Participate more in your church? Take up a hobby?
  • Have a Financial Plan – Do you need to start taking more hours to make up for the divorce? Are there any monthly expenses you need to cut?If you need a loan, have you talked to your bank? Think about all these questions ahead of time to save yourself from excessive debt.

By planning out these things ahead of time, you’ll be much more prepared for some of the most difficult months of your life.

Tip #9.
Get a P.O. Box

This is a bit of an unconventional one, and may not apply to everyone, but I’ve seen it repeated enough that I’ll put it here…

As soon as it’s clear that divorce is unavoidable, you need to start separating your mail from your wife’s.

This is exponentially more important when there is any indication of spousal mischief.

Even if you don’t believe she’s the type to snoop through your mail, it’s better not to even give her the chance. Especially if she’s made it clear that she is not going to get through this divorce without a fight. You must keep control of your mail.

If you can’t afford a PO box, or if for some reason there isn’t one available where you live, then you can alternatively arrange for your mail to be sent to a friend or family member’s address.

Bonus Tip #10.
Learning More About Divorce Does Not Equal Giving Up On Your Marriage

It’s probably clear by now that you NEED to prepare for this divorce. Don’t let your wife be the only one who knows what she’s doing; the person who’s more prepared generally comes out on top.

If you haven’t already, pick out a divorce attorney and figure out what your options are. Spend time researching the divorce, alimony and custody laws in your state.

If you would like to learn about how you may still be able to save your marriage (trust me, I’ve seen the miracle stories), then let me suggest starting here:

From “She wants out” to “We’re working on it” in 7 steps


A simple 15-minute read could transform how you think about saving your marriage... This free guide shows you the exact steps your wife must go through before she starts working on the relationship with you.

Wherever you go from here, I honestly wish you the best of luck. I have confidence that you will end up happy in the end, provided you do this part with the best of your integrity.

Thanks for reading.

Much manly love,
– Stephen

Stephen Waldo

Hi! My name is Stephen. I’m the guy behind Husband Help Haven. My mission here is to help as many men as possible become the best husbands they can be, and save as many marriages as possible along the way. Even though I’m not a marriage counselor, I want to encourage men everywhere to become better husbands, fathers and leaders. Full author bio