“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 good chance that she’s already talked to a lawyer. If not, she’s at least spent some time studying up on divorce laws in your state.
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. This is advice is not meant to be taken as legal advice. What follows is my experience- and research-based opinion on common sense divorce advice for men.
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.
9 Divorce Tips for Men:
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
You Won’t Get Everything,
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.
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:
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.
Don’t Move Out Until the Divorce Is Final
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.
Remember that 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.
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.
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.
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.
The More You Agree
The Cheaper it’ll Be
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.
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.
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.
Get a P.O. Box
As soon as it’s clear that divorce is unavoidable, you need to start separating your mail from your wife’s.
That means today.
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 arrange for your mail to be sent to a friend or family member’s address.
Bonus Tip #10.
Learn More About Divorce
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 want my recommendation, I really liked this book:
It’s written specifically for men and a very fast, informative read.
Of course, we also have lots of other free resources available to you on Husband Help Haven, so browse around a bit more if you’re interested in learning more about divorce strategies and tactics.
Wherever you go from here, I honestly wish you the best of luck. I know that you will end up happy in the end!
Thanks for reading!
With much manly love,
I'm Stephen, the guy behind Husband Help Haven. I'm not a marriage counselor or a lawyer, I'm just a guy on the Internet who has talked to a loooooot of men going through separation... Over 2,000 in the past 5 years. My goal is to give men the tools they need to save their marriage from separation.