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  • Introduction to topic 'Before a Divorce'


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    First off, I believe divorce should be a drop-dead last resort. If you haven't done so yet you should look into couples’ therapy, purchase some videos on relationship building and communicate with your spouse about your issues. And give it some time to stew, sometimes people jump into a divorce while they are in a heat of the moment situation and if so, should take a step back and re-think things. If communications go awry and counseling doesn't work, maybe you could try a trial separation while continuing attempts of restoring your relationship. If that doesn't work, then it may be time to discuss a divorce with your partner. Simple communication goes a long way before, during and after a divorce. So be sure to keep those communication lines open. And if you wanted a reliable second opinion you could look up Malachi 2:16 which says “For I hate divorce!” says the Lord   Kind of sums it up doesn’t it? So take some time and re-evaluate things. If we’re moving ahead then read on. 😊

    Here we will discuss that rare occurrence when the man is the one initiating the divorce (studies show that 7 out of 10 are initiated by women, I've experienced a higher rate than that, 9 out of 10), or maybe it's a joint effort. And being as such you have time to plan things out ahead of time. There are a lot of things to watch out for and I hope to cover them all. If I'm missing something feel free to add it to this forum. You may not think you need to go through these steps but it's better to be prepared. Maybe things are still good between the two of you, but realize that it can, and usually does, go south. Remember the quote: “hope for the best, prepare for the worst”.

     

    If you have the luxury of time on your side, then you're ahead of most. Most of us find out about a divorce after the wife files first. So, consider yourself privileged. Make good use of your time by documenting everything that may pertain to a courtroom divorce. Even if you've talked it over with your partner and agree to an amicable divorce, it's best to have your oars in the water in case communications go south and you end up disputing something. Happens all the time. Things start out amicable enough then little arguments about this or that, then turning into major battles before it's all said and done. Also, do not move out of the marital home. If you do you can pretty much kiss it goodbye. Even if you plan on leaving her with the house hang onto it until negotiations are over. What you want to do is to keep as many bargaining chips as you can.

    Something I should stress before we get any further. Make sure you file first. If you suspect your STBX (soon to be ex) is getting wise to you and may file, you need to beat her to it. If you don’t you can expect a restraining order to get you out of the family home and keep you from your kids. And a large temporary child support/alimony payment. Not to mention she will probably drain every nickel out of your bank accounts. Good luck finding a decent attorney when you’re living paycheck to paycheck.

    Get a journal and map out how you would like the divorce to go. If you have kids write down all the details of how you see the parenting plan going. Get yourself a voice recorder and have it on-hand at all times. Record everything you and your partner agree to and the things you don't. It's usually best not to tip off your spouse that you are recording so use discretion. Most states only require one party of a conversation know about the recording, but some states require both parties be aware of a recording so check the laws in your state. If you journal correctly and keep a good record of events and dates, then it will be a valuable source of information come trial time.

    You should also get photo’s and videos of everything you own. Just record everything. People have been using videos to settle insurance claims since video camera’s have been a thing. It’s fast and it’s easy and useful in negotiations or during trial. Trust me, you’ll have a lot on your mind going through this and you don’t want to trust your memory as to what possessions you own. If she is the one left in the marital home and you don’t negotiate something from her, she’ll keep it. Doesn’t matter how petty it is she will keep everything and anything she can and leave you with nothing. This is a war after all. Think of it that way from the start. If she moved out of the family home leaving you there, then you will hold those bargaining chips.

    That’s why I stress, do not move out of the family home, unless you are served with papers. Always try to stay 10 steps ahead of her. Keep her chasing her tail trying to play catch-up. Not many men get the upper hand when it comes to divorce so, if you do, make it work for you. Do everything you know she would do if the tables were turned. She’s still going to try to get everything, but you need to make that as hard as possible. If you’re fighting for your kids having a lot of bargaining chips will go a long way.

    When you do file for divorce make sure you file a temporary restraining order as well. Hell, women have been doing it for ages. Claiming physical and emotional abuse towards her and the kids. Well abuse goes both ways. File the restraining order.

    Also use this time to gather as much information as possible that may be needed later down the road. Don’t forget, SS numbers, birth certificates, marriage license, all of your tax returns, passports, deeds/titles etc., credit reports, bank statements, school records. If she was married/divorced before, snag the marriage/divorce documents from that too. Keep all this stuff in a lock box or a deposit box at your bank in only your name. Grab anything else you can think of as well. Maybe you have a time share, grab the documents. You get the picture. Your job is to leave her penniless and homeless at the end of the day. May seem cruel but if it were her doing it, she wouldn’t hesitate for a second. Besides, she’ll have family or a friend that will help her out.

    During this ‘before’ time make sure you scout out a good attorney. A family law firm is a good bet, with a proven track record representing men. Have a free counseling session with every attorney you pick and get a good feel for what they can offer. Most will a free council to get the ball rolling.

    Then when the day finally comes for you to pounce do it at a time she least expects it. While she is away for the day and you have the kids. Let your attorney of choice know to expect you that day. Then, drain every penny out of all of your bank accounts. Go see your attorney and file for the divorce and temporary restraining order. Go to your home and log into any retirement accounts you may have IE: 401k, cash them all out. Keep all your monies in cash. Everything else is traceable and will be split 50/50 during the divorce.

    We’ll be discussing some of this stuff in more detail later on. I didn’t want a 50 page document so I’m cutting it into chunks. This will get you going for now on your planning stage. Read on for more details or jump to the ‘During Divorce’ section if you’re all set.

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