Month: August 2012

Male Divorce Mistakes

Silvano D. Raso, a New Jersey attorney, has an article out today regarding five mistakes men make in divorce. Common sense, to be sure, but after the week I’ve just had, you can’t take anything for granted anymore.

1. Do Not Move Out of Your House: Chances are you are getting divorced because you cannot stand living under the same roof as your wife. However, until a court says otherwise, the house you are living in still belongs to you so you are still allowed to live there. You will continue to contribute to the household expenses while the divorce proceedings play out. If you move out, you will have to support two households — the one you are living in and the one you moved out of. Living together may not be an ideal situation, but it is the most cost-effective.

2. Do Not Hide Any of Your Assets: The last thing you want to do is lose your credibility in court. Some men panic and move money out of their bank accounts and into untraceable places such as overseas or in coffee cans. Once the money is discovered, you will no longer be trusted in any asset discussion in court. You should reveal everything that belongs to you so that you are viewed as honest in the court’s eyes and will not lose your case due to an impulsive act of stupidity.

3. Do Not Tell Your Wife How You Really Feel About Her : Your soon-to-be ex wife may taunt you to say something that can be perceived as threatening. This “threat” could result in a restraining order and get you kicked out of your house. Do not take the bait; turn a blind eye to everything negative she may say to you. If you need to blow off steam, vent to your friends. They don’t have a court case pending against you.

4. Do Not Misbehave Online: Anything on social media is fair game in a divorce case. This includes tweets, status updates, photos, etc. Set your privacy settings so that only you can see potentially incriminating information and do not post anything that could come back to haunt you in court.

5. Do Not Flaunt Your New Life : Getting involved in another relationship after you are divorced is healthy and expected. However, the key here is to wait until your divorce is final. A new girlfriend in your children’s lives could negatively impact you in a divorce case. Your new life may be portrayed as unstable when it comes to child custody. Gifts that you may give a new love that are visible, such as jewelry, can easily amp up an alimony payment to your ex. For your wallet’s sake, deal with the divorce, then move on.

Good advice, but I take #4 one step further than Ms. Raso: I encourage my clients to disable or delete all forms of social media during a pending divorce or custody case. The bad far outweighs the good, in my experience.

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Ten Rules for Divorce

I discovered Regina Brett last year after reading her seminal book, “God Never Blinks” (buy it here). I follow Mrs. Brett’s blog (here), and she had an insightful post yesterday called “Ten Rules for Divorce”. I have reposted them here, because I think it’s good advice and something people can possibly relate to.


1. It’s too soon to tell:

It’s too soon to tell if this is a good thing or a bad thing. If it’s forever over or just a temporary split. You are just at the start of a process. Don’t judge it or you or him too harshly. Don’t analyze and awfulize this every minute of every day. It’s too soon to tell what it all means and how it all ends.


2. Be the heroine of your life story, not the victim of it.

That’s up to you. No one can make you a victim without your permission. You don’t need him to be the villain and you the victim. That doesn’t help anyone, especially your children.


3. This man will always be the father of your children. 

Your children need to hear you speak kindly and lovingly of their dad. If you need to bash him and vent, do so when they are not around. They share his DNA. They don’t want to feel they, too, are the bad guys.


4. Appoint yourself CEO of your joy.

It is no one else’s job to make you happy. Period. Maybe he did for a while, maybe he never did. Doesn’t matter. It’s up to you to build a life of joy no matter what life hands you. See it through the eyes of gratitude. You can survive without him. You can’t survive without you.


5.  Create a 9-1-1 list of people to help.

Put their names and cell phone numbers on an index card you carry with you at all times. Ask them to be “on-call” to lend you an ear, a shoulder, a tissue, an old plate to break in an empty parking lot, the number for a good attorney. Create your own support Dream Team of the most positive people you know.


6. No playing bad home movies.

It’s tempting to drift back in time and replay all the times he hurt you or loved you like crazy, which can make you feel crazy now. Stay present. Stay put in this day.


7. Pray for the serenity to accept the things you can’t change.

If he had an affair, you can’t change that. If he is in love with someone else, you can’t change that. If he can’t be talked out of the divorce, you can’t change that. Acceptance means you align yourself with what is and start from there.


8. Breathe.

Just pause and breathe. Take a deep breathe and count slowly to six. Exhale slowly as you count to six. The slower you breathe, the more you will feel calm. Breathe in the love of God; breathe out the love of God. There is a place of peace inside of you — find it. It is there. It’s like the centerpiece in the snow globe. He shook your snow globe and all the pieces went flying, except for the core of you. No one — no one — has the power to shake that.


9. Nothing you want is upstream.

I love that line. Stop strugglng. Stop swimming against the current. Stop forcing yourself on life and insisting it change. Turn and go with the flow. A God who loves you is in charge of this flow. Trust where the current is taking you. It’s somewhere better. Trust me. Better yet, trust you.


10. The best is yet to come.

As good as he was, you deserve better. You deserve the best. If this relationship is truly over, then he must not have been the best. He was a dress rehearsal. Maybe he was a great appetizer or the salad course. But he wasn’t the main dish. And he sure wasn’t the dessert.


The next relationship will be even more life enriching and life affirming. Tell the Universe, “I am ready for my perfect good.” Include your children in that perfect good. Keep your heart wide open and be ready for it to fill up with even greater love.



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