The landscape of divorce in Alabama has changed in the last several decades, even if culturally, there is still a general viewpoint of men as the smarmy villains and women as the celebrated victims.fat
The truth of the matter is that there is often plenty of blame to be shared by both parties, and the courts are awakening to the fact that it's not always the women who deserve the custody, the house, the spousal support, etc.
In fact, it is more often women who initiate divorce (66 percent to 44 percent, with the figures skewing even more dramatically with increasing age). It is the men who are left blindsided and scrambling to pick up the pieces. It can be even tougher when you consider that men tend to have a tougher time defining and expressing their feelings. In the end, this shuts them off from an adequate support network that might otherwise form, and may ultimately result in some poor financial decisions.
Our Birmingham divorce attorneys know that preparation is key to softening the transition in these cases. A big part of that preparation is financial. Consider that you may suddenly find yourself struggling to get by on one income rather than two. You may be tapped to pay child support and you may be forced to forgo certain assets as part of the compromise.
The more funds you have set aside – and the more knowledge you have amassed regarding your overall financial standing – the easier this process will be.
At the first indication that the relationship may be suffering, you should begin setting aside funds to cover the costs of separation. Obviously, the amount will depend on your financial situation, but by some estimates, $20,000 is a fairly safe bet.
Yes there are attorney's fees. But beyond that, you're going to need to plan on having enough to afford a second residence (until the divorce agreement allows you to cut financial ties to your first). If you intend to sell the real estate you share with your wife, there are going to be costs associated with that. You're also going to need to consult with a financial adviser, and you may want to consider setting aside for your children's therapy.
Even just bare-bones, you can likely expect to spend several thousand dollars. Going into debt might be another option, but we like to help clients avoid that if we can.
In addition to saving funds prior to the filing, consider also establishing a strict post-divorce budget. Bear in mind this won't be forever, but it will help shore up your immediate financial health in the short-term.
Don't be too proud to pursue alimony if it's something to which you might be entitled. Historically, women counted on this because they sidelined their careers to stay at home with children. Today, many families have initiated a role reversal in this regard. If so, you have every right to collect on fees that will help make your transition to single life.
You should also refrain from making any major financial decisions for at least six months to one year following the divorce. Too often we see a tendency in men to be financially impulsive following a divorce. But this can lead to even more heartache – and debt. Don't quit your job. Don't move to a new city. Don't buy a new house. Those things will still likely be an option a year from now. Allow yourself time to breathe, to adjust and to be calculated about your next move.
If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.
8 financial tips for men getting a divorce, Sept. 30, 2013, By Hayley Krischer, LearnVest