In a way, this should be encouraging for divorcing parents, because it means they have a way of protecting their children and making this transition easier for them. Although you probably have your fair share of differences with your ex-wife and likely harbor some hurt feelings, you should keep in mind that by remaining as amicable as possible and working together to find effective ways to co-parent, you are doing what is in the best interest of your children.
Here are four ways to protect children of divorce from parental conflict.
Do not fight in front of them
Your best strategy to shield your children from the conflict of divorce is making sure they do not overhear any disagreements between you and your ex-spouse. If your ex is particularly disagreeable, some arguments might be inevitable, but do whatever possible to ensure that they do not take place in front of the kids.
Make a pact with your ex that arguments will take place behind closed doors and far away from the children. You can even make an appointment to discuss especially contentious issues at a time when you know the kids will not be around.
Make a pact with your ex that arguments will take place behind closed doors. Click To Tweet Do not badmouth your ex
No matter what your ex does, avoid saying bad things about her in front of your children. Consistently badmouthing your children’s mother in front of them can lead to parental alienation, which can cause serious emotional and psychological problems for years to come.
Think about how you would feel if your ex was constantly talking badly about you in front of them. Even if she is being horribly unfair to you, your kids do not deserve to hear about all the problems their parents have with each other.
Although proving parental alienation in court can be challenging, it can impact your child custody case, according to Cordell & Cordell divorce attorney Cassandra Pillonel.
“It’s more and more recognized by the courts,” Ms. Pillonel said. “Courts are taking action to correct and remediate issues of parental alienation.”
If you feel your ex is actively working to alienate you out of your child’s life, it might be helpful for you to talk to a divorce lawyer for men about the actions of the alienating parent to see if any legal remedies are available.
Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Children of divorce are often plagued with guilt and blame themselves for their parents’ breakup. When you and your wife decide to divorce, tell your children together, as a couple, and emphasize and reiterate that it is not their fault.
Do not go into detail about the problems the two of you have had, but reassure them that you both love them and want to do what is best for them.
Never deny your ex parenting time
One of the most effective ways to ensure children of divorce adjust to their new family dynamic is by ensuring they have healthy, loving relationships with both of their parents.
It is common for couples to try to stick it out and stay together solely for the sake of their children. While their intentions might be noble, this is never a good idea if your marriage is truly broken. Although these children, some studies suggest it actually is the amount of parental conflict they are exposed to that causes harm rather than the event of divorce itself.
The good news is fathers are not powerless. There is a lot you can do to help mitigate the impact of divorce on children.
Being A Dad To Children Of Divorce
One of the biggest reasons why divorce has so many negative effects on children and kids struggle coping with divorce is that in some tragic cases, the divorce essentially sidelines one parent – typically fathers – from their lives.
When you are starting the divorce process, you should make sure you have an attorney in your corner well-versed in the child custody laws in your area. You want to make sure you hire an attorney who is going to fight as hard as they can to make sure you remain a major part of your children’s lives. The sooner you get in touch with a divorce attorney, the better.
That puts the impetus on fathers to do everything they can to be the best dads they can possibly be. Depending on your custody arrangement, your parenting time with your child might be limited, so you need to make the most of whatever time you do have. That means doing more than just spending time with your children. You can up your “dad game” by making sure you are present, emotionally engaged, and involved with your kids.
Gameday Coffee is a charity organization dedicated to fostering healthy relationships between fathers and their children. The organization is based on the simple yet profound premise that small gestures from dads, such as sharing a cup of coffee with your son or daughter, make a tremendous impact on the lives of children.
“It’s quality time,” said Cordell & Cordell CEO Scott Trout. “… That’s something that is not just useful, but intentional and purposeful, and I think that’s part of being a great dad. … It is getting into a routine of an intentional and purposeful relationship with your kid.”
Even if you are allotted less parenting time with your kids than you would like, there still are simple and significant ways you can empower them. Ensuring children have two parents who are available, active, and engaged is the most effective way to minimize the impact of divorce on children.
Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
A major reason coping with divorce is so challenging for children is that the process tends to be adversarial and pits each parent against each other. Seeing their parents, both of whom they likely have affection for, turn on each other is confusing and heartbreaking for a young child who still is developing emotionally.
Society would do well to support couples attempting to split amicably as that would help foster healthier co-parenting relationships. A lot of guys make the mistaken assumption that divorce means a clean and complete split from their ex. That is never the case for divorcing parents because their relationship must continue in the context of co-parenting.
You might harbor a fair share of differences with your ex, but it is in your best interest to do what you can to put those issues behind you, so you can co-parent more effectively. Even if you cannot stand your ex, you should try to treat her like a business partner and remain professional. Clear and consistent communication is key.
If you find it impossible to get your ex to cooperate, you might consider attending co-parenting counseling to help improve your relationship.
“Co-parenting counseling is a specific kind of counseling that is intended to teach parents who are separated or divorced to communicate more effectively,” said Cordell & Cordell family law attorney Jamie Spero. “The purpose of it is to talk about the kids’ best interest in a neutral environment with a neutral third party who has special training. This person is supposed to help you learn to communicate more effectively so that you can co-parent your children easier.”
Co-parenting counseling is not typically covered by insurance and can involve an expensive out-of-pocket cost, but divorced parents have much to gain by prioritizing their children’s best interests.
Remember, when your children see you fighting with their mother, it makes coping with divorce that much harder for them. Think about what is best for them and do what you have to do to help them through this difficult process.
Parenting Classes For Coping With Divorce
Another way to help offset the effects of divorce on children is by utilizing parenting classes and other tools and resources dedicated to helping families transitioning through divorce.
“We focus on educating parents who are contemplating divorce or going through divorce or even having passed divorce and now co-parenting,” said Child-Centered Divorce Network founder Rosalind Sedacca. “We want to give them advice, information, tips, and resources to help them make the best possible outcome for their family and children.”
Some states, such as Utah, even offer free voluntary Divorce Education for Children classes to help kids understand what is happening. Other jurisdictions, such as Miami-Dade County in Florida, require parents to attend parenting courses to help them focus on their children and cooperate effectively.
Enrolling in a parenting class at the start of the divorce process is also a good way to show the judge that you are doing everything you can to be a good father if there is a looming custody decision. It reflects well on you that you are doing what you can to educate yourself and improve your parenting skills, in order to help your children cope and process all the complicated emotions they are experiencing.
“What’s best for the kids is if mom and dad can communicate civilly towards one another and have the focus on what is in the kids’ best interests and not upon the deficiencies in their own relationship or why the relationship broke up,” Spero said.
Counseling For Children Of Divorce
Sometimes, the effects of divorce on children are so severe that professional help is needed. Kids do not always feel comfortable opening up to their parents, regardless of how supportive you are. They might feel a sense of loyalty to one parent or the other. Or, perhaps they blame themselves for the divorce.
In those cases, a professional counselor or therapist can help children coping with divorce. Although typically framed as something that primarily affects adults, mental health is a serious issue for children of divorce, and a licensed therapist can help them find a sense of balance in the wake of their parents’ breakup.
When determining whether your child needs counseling, there are a number of signs you should be on the lookout for. If you notice persistent unusual behavior that lasts for several weeks – such as your child acting unusually angry, not getting enough sleep, not eating enough, struggling in school, etc. – it is a good indication that your child needs help.
Many parents are unsure how to find a therapist or counselor who will be a good fit for their child, but there are resources that can help. You can ask your doctor for a referral as they typically have working relationships with a number of mental health specialists. You can also ask your friends and family members and even your divorce attorney if they know of any local therapists who have experience working with children.
Build A Support System
No one cares more about your kids than you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help when guiding them through this transition. It takes a village to help children who are struggling when coping with divorce.
Make a list of your closest friends and family members who you trust the most. Reach out to them and let them know that you and your kids are going through a difficult stretch and see if they might be willing to help out from time to time. Just knowing you have someone who you can count on in case of emergency, such as if you need someone to pick the kids up after school if you are unexpectedly asked to work late, can ease a lot of stress.
It also is a good idea to fill in your child’s teachers or caregivers and tell them to be on the lookout for any unusual behavior. Although you do not want to share the intimate details of your divorce with just anyone, it is a good idea to let your child’s teacher know what is going on, so they can help them through the transition at school.
Divorce changes so many things about a child’s life. They are no longer part of a traditional two-parent home and now have to bounce back and forth between two separate homes, but a solid and dependable support system can help ease the burden on you and give your children more of a sense of stability.
Put Your Children’s Interests First
What all these tips have in common is that they put your children’s interests first.
As you begin the divorce process, consider child-centered divorce strategies that avoid stress and negativity when dealing with your ex. When children hear one of their parents demeaning the other, they are likely to internalize it as an attack against them, since they see themselves as part of both their parents. It is understandable if you need to vent to someone about the stress of divorce, but it needs to be to someone other than your children.
If your ex is especially difficult, this might mean you have to occasionally swallow your pride and turn the other cheek, but before every action, consider what is best for your children and act accordingly. This will help them adjust and they will come to appreciate your sacrifice as they get older.
How divorce affects children is always going to vary from family to family. If you and your ex-spouse can work together amicably toward the greater good of what is best for your kids, they will almost certainly have a much easier time coping with divorce.
However, if your ex seems determined to cause problems for you despite your best efforts to cooperate, it might be necessary for you to get in touch with a family attorney to see if there are any legal remedies, such as a child custody modification, that might be available to you. Children face enough obstacles as it is. They certainly don’t need to be caught in the middle of their parents’ bickering.
When your marriage ends, the storm of divorce costs can leave you reeling financially. It takes some guys years to get back to a place of stability after losing thousands to attorney fees, filing costs, child support, alimony, and more.
Since divorce costs are often so expensive, not to mention unpredictable, it is crucial to include planning a realistic and responsible budget on your divorce checklist, as you are preparing for divorce. Knowing how much money you have, where it is coming from, and where it is going will allow you to better prioritize where you need to spend your money and how much you need to save.
Here are a few helpful pointers as you are planning for divorce that should help you budget responsibly and avoid divorce debt.
To protect yourself, go through your credit report and make sure you separate and freeze joint accounts. Remove your ex-wife’s name from any non-joint accounts and if you have any joint loans, you should look into refinancing.
It also is worth asking your divorce attorney if you can include provisions in your settlement that protect your future credit. For example, if your wife is awarded the marital home in the division of property, a provision could be added requiring her to refinance the house within two years or else it must be sold.
A lot of guys would not know it was even possible to add such provisions to a divorce agreement, which is why it is important to get in touch with a divorce lawyer for men, so that you have someone in your corner who is committed to making sure your rights are protected in family court.
Hire a financial advisor
In addition to a divorce attorney for men, a lot of guys retain the services of a certified financial advisor during divorce to help sort out the different financial intricacies involved in the divorce process.
Perhaps the most important step to budgeting responsibly and avoiding divorce debt is the most obvious one. Live within your means.
Keep track of your income and fixed expenditures so you know what you can and cannot afford. Wait before making any major purchases, such as a new house or car, until you are sure you are financially stable for the foreseeable future.
If you need help staying organized, there are plenty of free online apps that can help you plan a budget that works for you.
Divorce costs can be substantial, but careful and disciplined planning and budgeting can help you offset those expenses and ensure that you regain control of your finances once your divorce is finalized.
Divorce costs can snowball in a hurry. Before you know it, the divorce process can ravage your finances and hit you with a number of intangible costs that are sometimes even more difficult to overcome than the monetary ones.
Here are three things that divorce costs should not impact.
There are certain things about your life that divorce can't touch. Click To Tweet Your role as a father
You are now a divorced dad. That means you are divorced and it means you are still a dad.
After divorce, you likely share custody of your children with your ex-wife. You will spend less time with them than you would probably like, but that does not lessen the role that you play in their lives. It is important for you to do whatever you can to make the most of whatever parenting time you are allotted.
Organizations like Gameday Coffee are focused on helping dads build stronger bonds with their kids through simple gestures, such as sharing a cup of coffee or donuts each morning. The point is that you take a genuine interest in their lives and show that you care.
Unfortunately, the family court system is set up in a way that does often seem predisposed against fathers. Legally, courts cannot technically make custody determinations based on gender, but outdated stereotypes do still pervade family courts resulting in fathers often getting the short end of the stick.
With that in mind, it is crucial for you to make sure you hire a men’s divorce attorney who understands the ins and outs of the divorce process and is willing to fight to make sure your rights, and the rights of your children, are protected.
Some firms, such as Cordell & Cordell, focus on helping men and fathers through this process and that gives them a better understanding of the challenges guys face in court. Click here to get in touch with a divorce attorney for men in your area.
Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
It is true that a lot of guys go through an identity crisis in the wake of divorce. That is because so much of their identity was tied to their wife. When you are married, you share friends and family and rarely do any activities apart from each other. After divorce, it can be tough figuring out who you are as an individual.
While that process is challenging, you should look at it as an opportunity for self-discovery. You now have more freedom to develop your own personal values and explore new interests and passions.
Use this time to figure out what is most important to you. That will give you a much greater sense of centeredness moving forward.
Your support system
Another nasty part of divorce is that it tends to fracture your social life. Since you and your wife likely shared the same social circle, many of your friends are likely to take sides. You are likely to lose touch with some acquaintances who used to be a fixture in your life.
However, your close friends and family are going to remain by your side and offer their support in any way they can. Do not share the details of your divorce with anyone and everyone, but reach out for help from your trusted friends when you need it. Shutting down and keeping things bottled up is one of the most detrimental mistakes guys make during divorce.
There also are numerous resources online. The Men’s Divorce Forum provides a supportive online community going through the same divorce experiences as you. This community offers resources, tips, knowledge, and, more than anything, support as you go through this difficult transition.
There is no way around the fact that divorce costs are going to add up and probably hit you pretty hard, but there are some simple steps you can take to help ease the blow.
Planning For Divorce Costs
For a lot of guys, it is tough bouncing back from the financial costs of divorce, because they did not see the divorce coming in the first place. One day they come home, they are served with divorce papers, and the entire process hits them like a tsunami.
However, once you find out that divorce is in the cards, it is critical that you act quickly to get your affairs in order or else you risk getting a bad deal in your divorce settlement.
The most important step for you to take is finding a divorce attorney for men who can help guide you through each stage of the process.
There are some simple steps you can take to help ease the blow of divorce. Click To Tweet Finding A Divorce Attorney For Men
It might seem tempting to try a do-it-yourself divorce without the assistance of a divorce lawyer for men. However, even if you are on good terms with your wife, this is not advisable as do-it-yourself divorces tend to have a lot hidden divorce costs. Plus, the process can go south in a hurry if you end up disagreeing on any issues with your ex.
It is true that it is generally fairly expensive to hire a divorce attorney. Many lawyers charge an hourly rate that varies by region and can cause your divorce costs to skyrocket in a hurry if you are not careful. Nonetheless, hiring a good divorce attorney is one of the most effective steps you can take toward reaching a fair settlement and limiting long-term divorce costs.
Another very effective way to save money on your divorce is to take advantage of a mediation. This involves using a third-party mediator to help negotiate the divorce terms as opposed to having a result imposed by the court.
A mediator is an impartial and professionally-trained person who acts as a go-between to the parties of the divorce to try to work out the terms of an agreement. The mediator does not decide anything, but rather helps each party in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.
Generally, the less contentious your divorce and the more issues you and your wife can agree on, the lower your divorce costs will be. It is critical to have a divorce lawyer for men in your corner who makes sure your rights are protected, but it also is essential for you to go into the process with an open mind.
The divorce process involves a lot of give and take, so do not fall into the trap of disagreeing over non-essential items, because you harbor hard feelings toward your ex. That will only serve to make the divorce more painful and costly for all parties involved.
Hourly rates can vary quite dramatically depending on many different factors, including the size and prestige of the law firm and the experience level of the lawyer. Typically, hourly fees range from anywhere between $50 to upwards of $700. Keep in mind that an attorney’s hourly rate is not necessarily a reflection of how good of a lawyer they are.
Another factor that affects how much attorneys charge per hour is the market in which the case is taking place. Just as the cost of living is higher in certain parts of the U.S., the cost to get divorced also varies substantially state to state.
GOBankingRates recently compiled a list of the most expensive states to get divorced in. According to their data, the average divorce filing fee in the United States is $215 and the average divorce attorney’s fees total $10,180.
Using their statistics, DadsDivorce put together an infographic breaking down the average hourly attorney fees by region of the country. Although the fees can vary widely from attorney to attorney, the below infographic should give you a rough estimate of how much you can expect to pay depending on where you live.
When estimating the potential cost of divorce, it is easy to get caught up in how expensive the process is going to be. It is one of the most significant financial life events a person can go through.
The cost of divorce can hit your bank account, retirement savings, credit score, and leave you with monthly child support and alimony payments for years to come. Those variables make it practically impossible to estimate the average cost of divorce.
However, one thing divorce statistics do not account for is the intangible cost of divorce. While it can take a man a lifetime to recover financially from the cost of divorce, the intangible expenses are often even more difficult to bounce back from.
The intangible expenses (of divorce) are often even more difficult to bounce back from. Click To Tweet
Your relationship with your kids
By far, the intangible cost of divorce that has the biggest effect on dads is that it can forever alter the relationship fathers have with their children.
To help you get the best custody arrangement possible, it is best to work with an experienced divorce attorney. They will know the ins and outs of the child custody laws in your jurisdiction and help you make the case that you are a great father who deserves to be heavily involved in his kids’ lives.
Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
An unexpected intangible cost of divorce is the degree to which divorce affects your social life.
If you and your wife were together for any considerable amount of time, then your social lives were likely intermingled and you probably shared a good number of friends. In the wake of divorce, those friends are likely to choose sides and lose touch with whomever they were less acquainted with.
As you are battling through all the complicated emotions that arise following a divorce, it is important to avoid shutting down and internalizing everything you are feeling. It might be a good idea to seek help from a professional counselor or psychologist as you are going through this difficult transition.
As you can see, the cost of divorce goes well beyond the monetary figures listed in divorce statistics of the average cost of divorce. Intangible factors take just as much a toll on your overall well-being as financial factors. Get in touch with a family law attorney as soon as possible to help limit both the financial and intangible cost of divorce as much as possible.
There are many questions that run through your head as you are preparing for divorce. One thing everyone wants to know is what the final cost of divorce will end up being.
It turns out that is a loaded question and is practically impossible to answer. The reason it is so difficult to determine the cost of divorce is because every case is unique. On the Internet, you will find the average cost of divorce listed anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000 or more, which will vary depending on whether it is a contested divorce or a more amicable one. Without knowing all the specific details of the case, it is difficult to determine what divorce services will be needed and impossible to provide an accurate estimate of the overall cost of divorce.
What’s more, divorce can end up hitting your wallet well after your decree is issued. Many people make the mistaken assumption that their divorce tasks are finished once the final papers are signed, but there is a whole list of post-divorce responsibilities you must take care of and, as you’ll see, a number of divorce expenses can continue to pile up even years after you and your wife have parted ways.
Divorce can end up hitting your wallet well after your decree is issued. Click To Tweet Basic cost of divorce factors
The most basic divorce expenses are administration and court fees, which vary by state. At the start of a divorce action, the initial filing fee will cost you anywhere from less than $100 to more than $400. Additionally, there will be fees to file various documents with the court during the divorce process.
Unless you plan on a do-it-yourself divorce, which can go awry even when you and your ex are on amicable terms, you need to consider the cost of hiring a divorce lawyer.
This might seem like a hassle, but it is extremely important to get the most out of your consultation. This is your chance to feel out the attorney and determine if he or she is a good fit for you. Effective attorney-client communication is one of the most effective ways to limit the cost of divorce.
When you first hire a divorce attorney, you will likely pay a retainer fee for their divorce services. Some attorneys require a flat retainer, which typically start at around $5,000, while others base the fee on the complexity of the case and needs of the individual.
Divorce attorneys also charge either a flat fee or hourly rate. With a flat-fee arrangement, you can expect to pay between $900 and $6,000. The logic behind a flat fee is that it provides some certainty regarding the overall cost of divorce. You do not have to stress about whether or not a 20-minute phone call to your lawyer is worth the additional expense.
Other attorneys use an hourly fee structure. Hourly fees can range from around $50 per hour to upwards of $700, depending on where you live and the attorney’s experience and credibility.
As you are preparing for divorce, consider the number of issues you are going to have to work out. There is usually a laundry list of issues that must be decided before a divorce goes final – dividing assets, figuring out alimony and child support, agreeing on child custody, etc. If you are expecting a contested divorce, you can expect to pay more.
The more of these issues that you and your wife can agree on, the lower the cost of divorce. However, when you cannot resolve these standing issues, your attorney fees will quickly accumulate.
When you approach the divorce process, it is crucial to go into it with a clear and rational head, regardless of how your ex behaves. One of the biggest reasons the cost of divorce skyrockets so easily is that the process causes otherwise rational people to act emotionally and erratically to try to get back at their ex.
Before putting up a strong fight over one of your belongings that you feel should be yours, think about whether or not it is worth the time, money, and stress or if it would be easier to just move on and get through your case quicker. Stuff can always be replaced. It might be in your best interest to move on and get through the divorce process with as few headaches as possible.
There are instances you need to put your foot down to avoid getting taken to the cleaners in your case, but if you and your ex are able to come to terms on the most important issues and avoid court, it will likely save you a significant sum of money.
Regardless of whether you were only married for a few months or a couple decades, you still will have some amount of property that you will need to divvy up during the divorce process.
Either way, the fact of the matter is you are likely going to lose some of your stuff and take on some debt. To make sure you do not end up getting a raw deal during the division of property, it is essential to have an experienced divorce lawyer in your corner to make sure you get out of the marriage with what is rightfully yours.
Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
The hit to your wallet is not necessarily over once you and your ex reach a settlement. Depending on the issues in your case, you might be left with child support or alimony payments for years to come.
As a married father, you already were providing financial support for your children, so in theory, that is money you already were spending. Unfortunately, the modern child support system has a way of decimating a dad’s finances more than they ever expected.
If a father finds himself unexpectedly unemployed, or making substantially less money than when the child support order was issued, his payments do not automatically pause or decrease. Unless he files for a child support modification, arrears can rapidly accumulate and before he realizes it he is stuck in a cycle of debt. The same is true for alimony or spousal maintenance payments.
For that reason, it is vital upon any substantial change in income to file for modification as quickly as possible. Child support modifications are confusing to many guys, so they will again need to hire an attorney to guide them through the process. Although likely much less expensive than the cost to handle the initial settlement, this is just another factor that contributes to the overall cost of divorce.
Alimony and spousal support is a problem in and of itself. Fortunately, the majority of states have done away with permanent alimony, which left men writing checks to their wives for the rest of their lives.
Nonetheless, there are some quirks concerning alimony law, such as the alimony recapture rule, that can catch you off-guard and cost you more than you were expecting if you are not careful.
Intangible cost of divorce
The cost of divorce impacts your bank account, but it also has a number of intangible costs that a lot of guys fail to consider.
For one, your social life is going to completely change. You and your wife likely shared many of the same friends, and in the wake of divorce it is common for those acquaintances to pick sides depending on who they were closer to. Your true friends undoubtedly will stick by your side, but you should be prepared to lose touch with some people who previously played an important role in your life.
Your living situation also is going to dramatically change now that you are back to living the bachelor life. Previously, with two sources of income, you might have been able to afford a much larger house. Now that you are supporting yourself and potentially making monthly child support and alimony payments, you might have to consider downsizing to a smaller townhome or an apartment, depending on your income.
A lot of guys allow their identity to become tied to their wife while they are married and that can be very difficult to reconcile after divorce. It is such a drastic change that the intangible cost of divorce ends up being more difficult for a lot of men to adjust to than the monetary expense.
While adjusting to this new lifestyle is often a painful transition, it is important to keep in mind that the period following divorce can be used as a time to reinvent yourself. Although there are major intangible and financial costs associated with divorce, you now have more personal freedom than you ever did while married, and you should use that independence to better yourself.
Limiting the cost of divorce
As previously stated, the most effective way to reduce your cost of divorce is by settling outside of court. Litigation is expensive, so if you and your wife can work together to sort through as many issues as possible, you both will save money.
You also will want to do whatever you can to minimize attorney fees. The best way to do this is by staying organized so that you make every interaction with your attorney count. Rather than calling or emailing every time you have a question, save them all up for one call or message per week.
You also might consider utilizing mediation, as this is one of the most effective ways to reach a fair settlement. Granted, this does involve paying a mediator by the hour, an additional cost of divorce, but it still can save you in the long run if it helps you avoid going to court.
Consider the ramifications as you’re preparing for divorce
The cost of divorce is often life-altering. It can take years for a man to fully recover financially, and the intangible cost of divorce forever changes aspects of his lifestyle.
That is why the decision to divorce should never be taken lightly or made haphazardly. Avoid falling into a grass-must-be-greener mentality. Exhaust all efforts to work through your problems with your wife, including going to counseling, before moving forward with divorce. Truly consider all the possible ramifications of divorce, because your life will never be the same once you make the decision to end your marriage.
However, that should not necessarily prevent someone from pursuing divorce. If your marriage is unhappy and truly cannot be salvaged, then divorce is probably unavoidable regardless of whatever financial hardship it might cause. With so much at stake, you can see why it actually takes a great deal of courage to pursue divorce.
If you have come to the realization that divorce is the right decision for you, it is a good idea to get in touch with a family law attorney as soon as possible to go over your options. An attorney’s divorce services are one of the most significant divorce expenses, but it is crucial to ensure your rights are protected. Making sure you have an experienced divorce lawyer in your corner to represent your point of view can go a long way towards lowering the cost of divorce in the long run.
Here are some of the most common child support issues that dads encounter.
Child Support Issues For Low-Income Dads
According to the Boston Globe, 29 percent of families in the child support system live below the federal poverty line. This is hugely problematic because child support law is unduly harsh on lower-income families. If a father ever falls behind and allows child support arrears to accumulate, it can be difficult to ever get out from under that debt.
If you are an unemployed father with child support issues and need help figuring out how to modify your support order, get in touch with a family law attorney as soon as possible so you don’t end up owing more back child support than you can afford.
Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
With so many low-income parents in the system who are unable to pay their owed child support, it is inevitable that their child support arrears start to accumulate. When that happens, the state can pursue a number of enforcement procedures, including revoking the payor’s driver’s license, garnishing his wages, intercepting tax income refunds, or even throwing him in jail.
Perhaps one of the biggest child support issues is that the system is so fixated on monetary support. Rather than focusing so much on child support enforcement and dollar amounts, we’d be better off working to craft a system that keeps both parents actively engaged in their children’s lives.
Child support enforcement is important so long as it isn’t overemphasized. The overall goal of child support law should be to help support the healthy upbringing of the children in the system and too often it does the opposite.
The number of seemingly nonsensical child support issues divorced fathers face is staggering. If you are a dad struggling to understand child support law or having trouble paying off owed child support, it is a good idea to consult with a family law attorney who can explain how the system works so you don’t get stuck paying more than you should be.
Any time an individual violates a court order they risk being held in contempt. Contempt of court consequences can include both civil and criminal penalties depending on the infraction, but in some cases can be quite severe.
A motion for contempt is a fairly common occurrence in divorce proceedings. Before discussing contempt of court consequences, it is important to first understand the definition of contempt.
Definition Of Contempt
To be in contempt of court, it must be proven that a person willfully or intentionally violated their court order. The accuser must prove that the accused party:
Knew about the order,
Knowingly violated the conditions despite having the ability to comply, and
Lacks any reasonable excuse for the violation
The burden of proof lies with the accuser so compiling evidence prior to filing for a motion for contempt is crucial.
The entire point of civil contempt was originally to coerce compliance rather than punish with confinement. Click To Tweet Contempt Of Court Consequences
Depending on the infraction, contempt of court consequences can include fines, compensatory visitation, a modification to the custody arrangement, and in some instances even jail time.
In most cases, if someone is held in contempt, the court will first give them the opportunity to make amends for the violation. This could include repaying owed child support or allowing the opposing party to have additional parenting time for failing to comply with a visitation schedule. If those make-up requirements are met, the court is unlikely to enforce any additional contempt of court punishment since the entire objective of a contempt action is to seek compliance.
If an issue continues, such as repeatedly withholding visitation, a court can modify the custody order. Usually, a court will only modify a custody arrangement if the contempt action is included with a motion to modify.
Contempt of court punishment can include jail time, but that is generally rare. The entire point of civil contempt was originally to coerce compliance rather than punish with confinement. More times than not, the possibility of jail time is enough to convince the offending party to comply with the order so additional punishment is not necessary.
Contempt of court consequences can include additional damages in some states as courts will issue additional sanctions to help cover the losses incurred from the contempt action.
Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
When a person files for contempt, a new case is opened and the accused party will need to be properly served.
Evidence must then be presented to the court showing that the contempt action took place and the violation was intentional.
Prior to filing for contempt, it is a wise choice to send your ex a letter notifying of your intent. The court will likely view this as an act of good faith showing that you are sincerely interested in coercing compliance rather than just trying to stick it to your ex. In your letter, make sure to clearly explain how they can remedy the situation before going to court. If they missed child support payments, provide them with a certain number of days to repay you before you seek enforcement from the court.
Once all other efforts to coerce compliance are exhausted, you need to file a motion of contempt with the same court that issued the order being violated. The court will issue a hearing date where both sides present their case and a judge will decide whether contempt of court occurred and if so what the contempt of court consequences should be.
If you are concerned about contempt of court consequences or if you think your ex should be held in contempt, you should contact a family law attorney as soon as possible to go over the definition of contempt and review your options.