While women are historically more likely to initiate divorce than men, modern statutes have done a lot to balance the scales during the dissolution of a marriage. What usually ends up tipping them back again is a lack of effort, willingness or knowledge on the part of men to fight for marital property, custody and spousal support. Going into a divorce unprepared is foolhardy under the best circumstances, but if you're a father fighting for custody of your kids, it's an even worse decision.
It's Sometimes Best to Settle
During the divorce proceedings it's easy to take everything personally, especially if you've committed a significant portion of your life to the relationship. However, the less time you spend bickering with your wife over the details of the divorce itself, the sooner you can cut ties and move on. Many states maintain community property laws specifically to prevent protracted legal battles over marital property, such as vehicles, homes or land, all of which can make reaching an agreement outside of a courtroom easier.
Spousal support is a different matter, and can often end up being awarded to women who were not the primary income earner in a marriage. This matter can be further complicated if children are involved, but child support is not necessarily linked to spousal support in all cases. This is why it's often best to begin building your case early on, so you're better prepared to rebut or refute any demands or claims your wife might make.
Child Custody: It's Not All About Mom Anymore
During child custody cases, current laws are written to specifically direct courts to find in favor of a child's best interests, but this doesn't necessarily remove the subjective opinion of the presiding judge from the equation. Legally speaking, as long as paternity has been established, the gender of the custodial parent should not be taken into consideration during a ruling. However, if you're a father pursuing custodial rights against your former spouse you'll need to come prepared.
Women are overwhelmingly given custodial rights over men, but this is often due to fathers lacking sufficient evidence to prove their ex-wives to be unfit parents. Failing this, you can also present the case that you would be capable of providing a more stable environment for your child. Neither of these is an easy sell to a traditionalist judge, but if you were the primary breadwinner in your home prior to the divorce you stand a good chance of coming out on top.
Avoid working with a lawyer who doesn't bring up your custodial rights during your initial meeting with them. Even if you have no children, any lawyer you choose should be actively engaged in getting you a finalized divorce that doesn't disproportionately benefit your former spouse. You just have to be ready with any evidence your lawyer needs to make that a reality. Contact a family law firm like Grenadier, Starace, Duffett & Keisler, PC for more information.
Hello. My name is Stephanie Laurel. I have recently been through a divorce, and although I don’t wish it on anyone, I do wish that everyone could come out of the proceedings feeling they have been taken care of. My husband and I had been married twenty-eight years. We have four children, two of which are still under eighteen years of age. We owned the home we lived in and had a vacation home in a different state. We are civilized people, we get along fairly well considering, but no matter how much we thought we could go through the divorce process without lawyers, it wasn't possible. We each hired a divorce attorney to represent us. Most of the negotiations went well, but when we hit a rough spot the attorneys took over. Thank goodness. I’m going to share more about the experience and hope it helps you.