Are you interested in knowing more about how to protect yourself as a man in a divorce? You’re not alone.
If this topic is on your mind as a male thinking about divorce, it’s key to know from the start that the law is gender-neutral. They are not written in favor of or specifically against either men or women. However, many men assume they will automatically get the “raw end” of the deal in a divorce.
When it comes to child support, spousal maintenance, and child custody, men in Texas continue to ask…What rights do men have during a divorce?
If you are the breadwinner of the family or the spouse solely in charge of family finances, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself before, during, and after your divorce.
What To Know About Protecting Yourself As A Man Before, During & After Your Divorce
Men tend to think the outcome of their divorce won’t go their way or that their wife will be favored automatically. The fact is that the law is gender-neutral, so you shouldn’t make any assumptions before you file. It is a priority for the court to decide what is a just and right division of the community estate between you and your spouse.
Additionally, the court will always decide what is in the best interests of the child(ren) before making any decisions.
Hire A Divorce Attorney Beforehand
Along with not making any assumptions about your divorce, you should have the legal expertise to offer knowledgeable advice and guidance.
If you are a father and want the best outcome for your child(ren), having a family law attorney will help with child custody and child support proceedings. Remember, the court will address both of these topics throughout the divorce process as it needs to be defined before the judge can make a Final Order.
Your main goal here is to hire a family law attorney and inform them of your decision and other actions that support making your child(ren) a priority in your life – which leads right into the next action you should seriously consider.
Need a divorce attorney in Houston? Contact Daniels Law Firm to get started.
Take Steps To Protect The Relationship You Have With Your Children
Regardless of what has happened in your marriage, your children should remain an absolute priority. To ensure the best possible outcome for your children and your case as a continuing active parent, you might want to think about the following:
- Enroll in parenting classes
- Ensure your home is set up properly for visitation or shared custody if you plan on moving out of the familial home
- Keep your children’s academic goals in check by remaining active with their school and in routine contact with their teacher(s)
- Maintain a strictly cordial relationship with the mother of your children
Each of these can potentially impact the outcome of your divorce. Taking these actions can also better support your relationship with your child(ren) to make your divorce easier on them.Keep Track Of Your Finances
If your finances are of great interest, it’s essential to remember that awarding marital property includes community property when getting divorced in Texas. This does not include any property that is considered solely yours because it was acquired before marriage.
Understanding community property in its entirety is key to avoiding getting into legal trouble when it comes to potential fraud on the community, such as hiding money, keeping your spouse from shared finances, and other similar situations. Doing anything seen as fraud against the community can end in an unequal distribution of assets in favor of the wronged spouse.
Furthermore, you should consider canceling joint credit cards and talking to financial experts about tax implications after divorce. These are more specific financial questions that can be best answered by someone familiar with taxes, debt resolution, and other related topics of discussion.
Avoid Making Quick Decisions
If you are the primary account holder for health, dental, and vision insurance, you should hold off on changing any information before your divorce is finalized. Remember, you are considered married until your divorce has reached the final step in its proceedings and is signed off by a judge.
Talk to your attorney about separating property the right way, making changes to policies of any kind, and listing a new individual as a beneficiary on your accounts. Doing anything that is not advised before your divorce is finalized can affect your outcome.
What To Know About Abandonment Versus Living Apart
Before making any permanent changes to your address, consider the terms of abandonment and living apart. They have two completely different meanings and are equally important regarding the outcome of your divorce in Texas.
The court may grant a divorce in favor of your spouse if you:
- Leave your spouse with the intention of abandonment; and remain away for at least one year (abandonment); or
- Have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years (living apart)
Do Not Move Forward With Dating
Regardless of the personal details and specifics regarding your marriage, it’s important to know that you are married under Texas law until your divorce is considered final by the court.
It is remarkably important to understand this definition if the idea of dating is on your mind. If you are caught dating while married and it can be proven by your spouse’s legal team, they can use this information against you. In fact, if this information is used against you, the court may consider it adultery, which can grant a divorce in favor of your spouse.
The bottom line? Don’t date until your divorce is finalized.
Prepare For Life Post Divorce
There are a few steps you can take to ensure your mental and physical health is well balanced. Divorce can be hard on everyone involved, so it makes sense to do what you can to ensure optimal health.
Plan For A Life On Your Own
One of the largest actions you can take when planning to live alone means accounting for all living expenses, debts owed, child or spousal maintenance (if necessary), etc.
Doing so will give you a more accurate picture of your finances and how much you can spend on essential and nonessential items. This may have an impact on your budget for a new apartment or home, groceries, and transportation. On the nonessential side, you might need to cut back on luxuries you’re otherwise used to like eating out at restaurants or paying for memberships to country clubs, gyms, etc.
Overall Health & Wellness
One of the most difficult aspects for men post-divorce is getting used to living without 24/7 access to their children if they now share custody with their former spouse. Practicing healthy routine habits like exercising, eating right, and attending therapy can all be useful to move on from your divorce. You can find support groups for divorced men and organizations to help schedule fun, safe, and engaging activities for you and your children to enjoy during your time together.
Benefit From Having Strong Legal Representation From The Start
There is no one answer to how to protect yourself as a man in a divorce. However, your entire strategy should start with hiring an attorney in Texas with family law as a specialty.
The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Daniels Law Firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.