Men and divorce: a few things for divorcing males to think about

Society sometimes views men as being comparatively stoic when considered alongside their female counterparts, a trait that some family law experts and other commentators say is not optimal when it comes to dealing with divorce.

And there is obviously a lot to deal with in most marital dissolutions, which is why “it can be especially challenging for men who don’t typically express their feelings,” says one financial planner who counsels divorce clients.

Keeping things close to the vest during divorce negotiations and thereafter is neither advisable nor effective, says certified planner David Blaylock, who counsels having “a support system in place, just like any other major life change.”

Blaylock and Bari Zell Weinberger, a matrimonial attorney, were asked by a media publication recently to weigh in on a few things that men need to do — as well as abstain from — during divorce. The focus was especially on the financial aspects of divorce.

Pay attention to divorce costs was one recommendation. Divorce in many instances can be consummated relatively cheaply. If it looks like a civil war is forthcoming, some couples might want to consider an alternative process to a litigated divorce, such as divorce mediation.

Another consideration for many men: thinking about alimony. A male divorcing spouse should pay it without grumbling when there is a reasonable need for an ex-spouse to receive it. However, he should not forgo asking for it if he was a stay-at-home parent maintaining the house and caring for the kids while the wife was furthering her career and now makes more money.

One additional thing that Blaylock recommends to many divorcing men is cultivation of a mindset that acknowledges divorce as a big deal. It is serious and life-changing. As Blaylock says, “It’s O.K. to be hurt. It’s O.K. to grieve.”

Conversely, it is generally not smart to act quickly or impulsively post-divorce by making material changes in one’s life without taking the time necessary to adjust to a new life.

“Hold status quo in your life,” Blaylock says, while coming to terms with being single again.

Source: The Week Magazine, “8 financial tips for men getting a divorce,” Hayley Krischer, Sept. 30, 2013

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