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Focus: a mindful male perspective during divorce

When it comes to divorce proceedings, men have a perceived history in the minds of many -- whether true or not -- of getting the lesser end of the deal, especially when children are involved. Men may give up possession of the house, lose custody of the children and/or get saddled with high child support and alimony payments.

Part of the reason for such outcomes is that, traditionally at least, men have had higher incomes and earning power than women, forcing them to make greater concessions during the property division process. As women increasingly close the earnings gap and gain greater income-earning opportunities, however, there is a reduced need in many instances to lean divorce settlements in their favor.

As a result, divorcing men in Florida and elsewhere have just as much of a right to property and settlement terms as women do in a divorce case. One of the most important considerations for men who want to protect their own interests is to understand how their actions and behavior can put them at a disadvantage.

For example, men shouldn't move out of their house if they can at all help it. Moving out increases the costs for both sides. And they definitely shouldn't hide away any assets, such as investments or other funds. It's hard to keep these out of view of the court, and, if you get caught, it can create a significant disadvantage, particularly regarding the lack of trust you will have earned with the divorce court judge.

Men also need to control comments concerning and treatment of their soon-to-be spouse, including not flaunting any new relationships that might be developing. Additionally, behavior and actions on social media should be tightly controlled, with a divorcing spouse always needing to remember that online activity is easily observed by other parties and can damage a reputation.

Source: Huffington Post, "The male side of divorce: What men need to know," Silvana D. Raso, Aug. 7, 2012

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