Men and divorce What should I do?

8th March 2015 by

 

When a client comes to us because they are undergoing relationship breakdown, Healys’ divorce solicitors in London and Brighton are often asked “What should I do?”

It’s a simple question, and our first advice is always “stay calm”. Men who are going through divorce often feel they are about to lose everything – the house, the children, half their income, savings and pension, and they are naturally fearful.

Below, Healys’ divorce solicitors have put together some advice for men who are about to get divorced.

Managing expectations

Yes, a court is going to ensure that vulnerable parties (children and low or no income adults) within the marriage are not penalised because of the breakdown of your relationship, and while the payment of child maintenance is a legal requirement which a court will not necessarily rule upon (disputes over child maintenance will be referred to the Child Maintenance Service), the court will always attempt to ensure the welfare of children is maintained. In many cases this means a family home will be put in trust – signed over to the wife who will live there with the children until they reach a certain age (usually 18) and then the property will be returned to its original ownership status.

This may feel extremely harsh for the husband, particularly if he believes he was not to blame for the break-up of the marriage (perhaps his wife has committed adultery) or he does not feel the relationship has broken down irretrievably.

But, under English and Welsh family law, it is very difficult to defend a divorce and while mediation may go some way to help couples understand each other and negotiate certain aspects of the break up, it may never feel fair to a husband who feels the divorce was neither his desire nor his responsibility.

Financial dos and don’ts for men in divorce

If you have received a divorce petition, you may well be feeling many things – anger, resentment, fear, anxiety, to name but a few. However, as we have said, you should try to remain calm.

If you are worried about the impending divorce financial settlement, you may be tempted to try to affect it in some way by altering your finances, but, as divorce solicitors, we are duty bound to ensure full disclosure of all assets, so:

  • Don’t destroy evidence
  • Don’t clean out your bank accounts so that your wife has no money
  • Don’t give away or sell valuable family assets
  • Do talk to your wife about money as soon as possible
  • Do gather as much personal financial documentation as possible and put it somewhere safe
  • Do set up a separate bank account in your sole name for future transactions
  • Do seek advice from a divorce solicitor as soon as possible

Do you need to speak to a divorce solicitor?

We are here to help if you are the respondent to a divorce petition and you are unsure of what immediate actions you should take.

We can quickly find out from you the relevant circumstances and issues of your divorce, so that we can advise you of the most appropriate course of action to protect your best interests.

For an informal discussion of your position, yet always in the strictest confidence, please call Healys divorce solicitors in London or Brighton today. Alternatively, you can send an email to family@healys.com and we will call you back at a time to suit you.