While your wedding day may hold visions of bliss and future happiness, your divorce may leave you wondering why you ever decided to get married. Divorce affects men and women differently, depending on their individual circumstances, economical security, emotional differences and parenting roles. As a man contemplating divorce, you may wonder what to expect and what you can do to minimize the impact of this difficult experience on yourself and your children.
Regardless of whether you or your wife initiates the divorce, expect to spend plenty of time wondering what you might have done differently. Divorce seldom occurs without warning, even though many couples fail to recognize the signs. Consider other options, such as counseling, legal separation and family therapy, before beginning your divorce proceedings.
Although some couples decide to file their own documents with the court, hiring an attorney can help you protect your financial assets and your parental rights as a father. An attorney can help you meet the filing deadlines for various documents, as well as address items you may miss. Depending on your individual situation, the legal process for your divorce may take months to years. Expect to provide information regarding your parental involvement, your income, health insurance, bank accounts and retirement funds.
While both men and women experience emotional distress during divorce, men may have more difficulty expressing their emotions. Discuss your feelings with a trusted friend, spiritual adviser or professional therapist. Rebuild your confidence by participating in sports and activities that you enjoy. Expect to feel periods of sadness, guilt, anger, disbelief and depression.
Like many traditional families, you may be accustomed to providing the majority of financial support for your family. Many husbands worry about how they will make ends meet if they have to pay alimony and child support. Organize your finances and document all sources of income, as well as every expense. Set up a practical budget that allows you to pay necessary expenses while saving money for emergencies.
Divorce has a big impact on the lives of your children. Assure them that you will continue to be their father. Help them adjust by listening to their feelings and addressing their fears. If you plan to seek custody of your children, outline how this will benefit the kids, including the parenting tasks you currently fulfill and intend to continue providing. Regardless of whom the children reside with, be willing to discuss parental decisions and concerns with your wife and avoid placing the children in the middle of an argument.
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