NAPLES, Fla. – Last month, we focused on the women and the top 10 mistakes they make in a divorce.
The “Divorce Paradox” is one of the most emotionally draining and traumatic times of your life. You have to have a mind clear enough to make major decisions which will impact both your immediate and long-term futures. You will want to avoid the pitfalls while navigating the treacherous divorce waters on your way to freedom. So men, these are your top 10 mistakes in divorce:
10. Using the children as leverage to get what they want. Sometimes, men are guilty of doing this just to hurt the women. Also, men often quickly realize that having more of the overnights in a parenting plan, their child support is potentially reduced.
9. Spending money on women. Florida is a “no-fault” state, so grounds such as adultery or abandonment are not usually considered or relevant. But money spent on a paramour during the marriage can be considered “marital waste or dissipation” of assets.
8. Attempting to control the process. This “attempt to control” can be trying to get the wife to agree to a settlement or pushing his attorney to do things that might or might not be in his best interests.
7. Not being patient. The nature of litigation is sometimes “hurry up and wait.” Once the petition is filed, there is a period of collecting financial information and other critical data. Men sometimes just want to get it over without understanding that it is their best interests to wait until the lawyers have all of the information needed to make sound decisions.
6. Using finances to bully your spouse, during which men sometimes react by cutting off credit cards, closing bank accounts or other financial measures to gain control.
These tactics do not play well with the judge in court and, further, are a violation of the local orders of the court in place during a case. Resist the temptation to engage in vigilante justice. If your wife is overspending, let your lawyer handle it.
5. Being overly generous to assuage guilty conscience. If the husband has cheated or feels guilty about leaving the relationship, he might sometimes want to give more than what the wife would receive under the law. These types of decisions are usually regretted after the final judgment is entered.
4. Being penny-wise and pound-foolish. This usually takes the form of not wanting to pay a lawyer.
Believe me when I tell you it is much harder to get you out of an agreement you don’t like once the final judgment is signed.
3. Leaving the residence too quickly. Once you are out, you’re out.
If you want the home long term for any reason, do not leave until your lawyer says it is OK. Your claim to its value is preserved whether you live there or not, however.
2. Not having a personal support system. Guys don’t ask for help soon enough or ever.
Don’t be afraid to lean on family or friends, or see a therapist.
1. Not telling your attorney everything. If you don’t tell your lawyer about your hidden secrets, your lawyer will find out anyway — but it will be from the other side.
Rebecca Zung, a family law attorney, is a founding partner of the Law Office of Zung Clough, PLLC in Naples. Contact Zung at ZungFamilyLaw.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.