To be clear, divorce is difficult for both men and women. Before you read anything else in today’s blog post, I would share with you that you have gone through divorces after having worked with many people; I believe that divorce is hard on all parties involved. However, I tend to think that men more than women have a more difficult time planning for, going through, and then dealing with the impacts of divorce. For as long as we talk about the hidden difficulties of divorce, men face some very straightforward problems more often than women. For those reasons, we can look at the divorce from our perspective of therapy ING problems that men tend to deal with more often than not compared to two women. Let’s walk through those factors and how men may be able to process the difficulties associated with divorce easier by being better prepared.
Men are more often caught by surprise regarding the divorce.
This is purely an observation that I have made in my years as an attorney, but it seems to me that men are more often caught by surprise by the filing of divorce when compared to their wives. It would appear that men are more willing to tolerate failing marriage rather than to do something about it and file for divorce. When this happens, we see that wives are probably more inclined to take the bull by the horns and move forward with the divorce. Not wanting to cause a scene or make the situation at home worse may not tell their husbands about getting a divorce. However, it’s my experience that women will more readily surprise their husbands with a divorce than vice versa.
What you need to know for your circumstances is what does this mean for you in the short and long term? Doesn’t it matter who files first for divorce? The truth is that there is no legal benefit to either being the petitioner or the respondent in a divorce case. The petitioner is the party who files for the divorce, and the respondent is the spouse who responds to and answers the original petition. Nothing in the Texas family code says the petitioner gets to pick or choose any particular divorce item or has a tactical advantage explicit in the family code. With that said, there are some advantages to being the party who files first for the divorce.
From a psychological perspective, being caught off guard is a difficult position to be in. You could be living your life, as usual, one minute in the following minute, find out that your spouse is in the process of ending your marriage. Not receiving a phone call, text, or being spoken to directly about this can be an incredibly powerless feeling. Your life partner has decided to move on with life without you. Even if this is something you could see coming or had contemplated doing yourself, it is another matter for you to be served with divorce papers. The entire circumstance becomes extremely real, so you see a process server or constable deputy approaching you with divorce papers. There is not much you can do at that stage to reason your way out of what is about to happen.
In the meantime, your spouse has likely been using this time to prepare for the case that she has filed. For instance, she has probably hired an attorney to help her facilitate the divorce. The divorce process is made much more accessible and streamlined when you have an attorney. You can plot your case out like you were playing chess rather than simply playing checkers. Just about any of us can go online and figure out the initial stage of divorce regarding what paperwork needs to be filed and what you need to do to prepare for a divorce in the immediate sense. However, it takes a bit more planning to determine how to prepare for the following stages of a case in the importance of getting your life in order and preparing for mediation or a temporary orders hearing.
An attorney will also help you from the perspective of keeping track and documenting all of your property that is having to be divided in the divorce. We know that there will be property subject to division in your divorce. Community property counts as any property accumulated during your marriage, with few exceptions. Therefore, even if your spouse did not contribute $1 to your household income, the parcel you purchased, and personal items, you own your family house and your retirement, or all potentially subject to division and very likely are. This means that your spouse has been allowed to plan how they would like to have the property divided up in our formulating a plan. All the while, you are losing opportunities to inventory the property that’s your own.
If in a worst-case scenario, your spouse may even take away or hide property from you without your knowledge and before a court order is in place that expressly forbids them from doing so. I am not telling you this will happen; you know I’m not trying to scare or intimidate you. However, the reality is that this type of behavior does occur in divorces, which you need to be aware of. When you are spouse has the time and opportunity to file first for divorce, you are at a disadvantage in the sense that she can get a leg up on you as far as preparing her case in organizing herself to take advantage of the lag time between your being served with divorce paperwork and eventually having to file an answer yourself.
Meanwhile, once you are served with divorce paperwork, you have a deadline on your hands. Specifically, you have essentially 20 days to file an answer to your are a general petition to divorce that was served on you. During this time, you will likely have to hire an attorney and work with them to get the information needed to respond to a petition. While you do not need a lot of specific material at this stage of a case, you need to have certain information available, especially if you want to file a counter-petition and allege particular grounds for divorce or any other relief that you may be asking for. This all takes time as well as money. From this perspective, it would have been beneficial for you to get a jump on the case by being able to file first or at least know that a divorce was coming down the road.
The financial impacts of a divorce can include assassins harder than women.
Like everything else discussed in today’s blog post, I do not know your family’s specific circumstances. Instead, I am relating to the experiences that I have had with other people. I hope that sharing these prevailing circumstances with you may be able to assist in helping you understand the importance of getting a leg up on your divorce and preparing for your case in general. With that said, it is an experience of mind that men are caught by surprise more in their divorce and tend to bear more of a financial burden when it comes to the case. Let’s discuss how you as a man and father may end up with greater responsibility on your shoulders when it comes to the financial aspects of a divorce case.
First of all, statistically speaking, you probably earn more money than your wife does. This is not intended to be a political statement or a slight to women and mothers. However, men, from my experience, tend to earn more money than women. This means that in a family of even two-income earners, your income probably weighs more than your wife does. With that being said, at least during the duration of your divorce, you will likely have to carry more of a load financially speaking than your spouse does. This is important, especially in two major areas as and child support. Let’s take a look at each of these subjects and talk about how you may end up feeling more of a burn as a husband and father than your spouse.
That’s assuming a situation where your spouse was a stay-at-home parent for many years, and now you are getting a divorce from her. With that said, she has not been in the workforce for many years and would need some time to transition into working again on a full-time basis. Even in a job market like this one, where it would now be difficult to find a full-time job, a lack of education and experience may make this more difficult for your spouse. Therefore, if you word to move out of the home and she no longer had access to your income, you may find yourself in a position where you say some degree of spousal support to her during your divorce. This would allow your spouse some time to be able to transition back into the workforce.
Spousal support temporarily does not necessarily mean that you will be ordered to pay support full time after your divorce has come to an end. Unless your wife is disabled, cares for the disabled child, or has some other issue when it comes to entering the workforce, permanent spousals maintenance will likely not be ordered. However, the truth is that spousal support can be rated temporarily and is with some frequency. Of course, it needs to be shown that you have the money to afford to pay spousal support. For this, you should have a budget prepared to show what your income is and what your actual responsibilities are from a job standpoint. Without this, you put yourself in a position where a judge could get the wrong idea about how much income you actually earn and, therefore, how much you can afford to pay in spousal maintenance.
Next, we have to consider that mothers are more frequently named as the primary conservator of children. Fathers tend to assume that they have no chance to be named as primary conservators in a divorce. They may have understood that other men they have been exposed to have been named in this way or may have heard horror stories about what can happen for men if they try to when primary conservatorships. Either way, there tends to be a negative impression about the chances of a man being named his primary conservator for no other reason than that they are men and fathers.
However, the reality is that women tend to act as primary conservators of the children more often during the ordinary course of events than fathers do. For this reason, judges are much more apt to name women as primary conservators when compared to men. But we also see that when men do not win primary conservatorship for their children, they are often asked to paid child support as a result. Since fathers will be spending less time with their children, they tend to be the ones who are asked to pay child support. This is another way that fathers end up feeling the burden of the finances in a divorce.
Child support is paid typically every month after divorce comes to an end. Child support is calculated by taking a percentage and applying it towards your net monthly income. The ratio is determined by determining how many children are before the court. At most, 50% of your net monthly income can be paid in child support. It would help if you had a plan in place when it comes to the payment of child support such that you could end up having to pay both child support and spousal support throughout your case.
Child support is a significant percentage of your net monthly income as a divorced father. This means that you should consider What you have to do to ensure That you do not miss payments in the future and risk going back and defending yourself in an enforcement case. Enforcement cases occur when you violate the order in some way. These cases can cost you time and money in the future, especially if you were to lose your job, reduce income, or otherwise fall behind in your child support payments.
Closing thoughts on whether or not divorce is tougher on men than women
Without a doubt, divorces are tough on everyone involved. Men, women, children, mothers, and fathers all experience difficulties in a divorce case. What do you experience in divorces or the opportunity to help clients achieve their goals for themselves in their families? In a way, this can be an enriching experience for men and women that They can address a negative in their lives and move forward to create better outcomes for themselves in the future. While it is frustrating to have to go through a process like a divorce to get there, you can choose to go along with the process and to fight for yourself and your children, or you can choose not to participate and risk having a lot of problems in the future as a result of your decision making.
The best advice that I can provide to a man or father would be to consistently participate in the divorce and do so With an experienced attorney by your side. While you may not be thrilled about going through the divorce, and you may have hoped for more of an opportunity to attempt to reconcile with your wife if you are a man who has been served with divorce papers, the best thing you can do for yourself is move forward and operate as if the divorce is going to take place. This means filing an answer and likely hiring an attorney to assist you in your case. An experienced family law attorney provides you with the best possible options when it comes to preparing for your case and advocating for you in the future, both inside and outside the courtroom.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
if you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog postcontact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law and how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.