Skip to main content


5 Fears That Keep Divorcing Dads Up At Night

By Blog, Child Custody, Divorce, Fathers Rights

5 Fears That Keep Divorcing Dads Up At Night

Divorce is difficult enough, but when you are a dad going through a divorce, get ready for even more worries and concerns…

What if your custody agreement doesn’t give you enough time with your children? How will you respond if your hostile ex digs in for a custody battle? What are your rights as a father — and what can you do to make sure the courts respect them?

If thoughts like these keeping you up at night, here are some facts to counter custody fears and smart steps you can take to protect your relationships with your children. 

Fear: Fathers don’t have the same rights as mothers 

Dads often labor under the assumption that fathers just can’t win when it comes to child custody. As a result, fathers are often reluctant to pursue their true custody wishes amidst fears they don’t have equal rights in the courts. 

It’s time to dispel this myth. Decades ago, it was certainly true that most states subscribed to the idea that children, especially very young children, needed to be exclusively in the custody of their mothers. However, this outdated view has long since been abandoned. 

Child custody and visitation laws differ from state to state, but in every state, the laws are now gender neutral. This means that neither the mother nor the father begins with a greater right than the other parent to custody of the children. It also acknowledges modern families with two dads (or two moms) where gender is a moot point. 

The bottom line? In all states, fathers have the right to be treated equally in a custody dispute.

Fear: You won’t get enough time with your kids 

Psychological experts and judges understand and support the notion that it is in the best interests of children to have extensive contact with both their parents, whenever possible. In most situations, the courts will strive to arrive at a shared custody agreement between parents in which the child spends nearly equal time with each parent. 

Driven by their fears, however, some dads act hastily to demand sole or full custody because the name sounds appealing. After all, you want as much time with your children as possible, and this may seem like the best way to achieve this goal.

Here is the problem with putting all your chips down on sole custody: unless your ex is absent or unfit, demanding sole custody often only results in a huge custody battle…one that you may lose. The same is true if your ex is the one demanding sole custody! As noted above, the courts see the child maintaining healthy and close relationships with each parent as being in their best interests whenever possible. In custody terms, this usually results in a shared custody arrangement. 

What kind of custody and parenting time plan should you advocate for? For your best options, talk to a family law attorney who can help you understand how to work with relevant factors — e.g., the kids’ school schedule, your work schedule, their time with their other parent, travel and transportation needs, any special medical or educational needs, and holidays and other special days — to come up with custody arrangement that will support you and your child having ample time to enjoy a strong and loving bond.

Fear: Your bad relationship with your ex will make custody negotiations impossible 

This is one fear you’ll need to face head on. Bitter feelings towards your ex (and vice versa) wastes a lot of time and energy in divorce, especially when it comes to highly sensitive issues like deciding child custody. Your ability to work together and cooperate is key to ensuring that your agreement is one that will serve your relationship with your children, and not damage it.

To lower conflict, be the role model for taking a calm, child-centered approach to negotiations. Keep all communication brief and neutral. Don’t hit send on that angry text, no matter how your ex acted. Don’t argue in front of your kids, and don’t trash your ex to your kids when you have them alone. When you take oxygen away from high conflict divorce fires, you may be surprised by how quickly the flames are extinguished. 

Divorcing parents can also agree to certain ground rules in the divorce and custody process, such as agreeing to try low conflict methods first to resolve their custody issues before going to court. Collaborative methods are often successful for helping parents reach an agreement in a neutral, low stress setting, even when there is lingering conflict. Your family law attorney can help steer you towards low conflict methods to try.

One other tip? When you feel uncomfortable in the aftermath of deciding to divorce, you may think that moving out and getting your own apartment is the best option. For the sake of your kids, think twice before making a move! If you move out of the family home without a plan in place to see your kids, the courts might perceive the move as abandoning your responsibilities or your children. If moving out truly is the only option, get a custody agreement in place and IN WRITING before you move out and follow the agreement. Read more about how to weigh the decision to move out of the family home.

Fear: Your ex is trying to “run the show” in deciding agreements 

Your ex may be aggressively sending you demands for what your custody arrangement will look like. Because you love your children, you might be tempted to agree to these subpar custody terms in order to avoid arguments and “just get it over with.” 

This approach can maintain peace on the surface, but making custody decisions based on placating your ex is ultimately not helpful for you and your children. Always keep in central focus that regular contact with your children is what will sustain your bond with them. Don’t give up your right to spend an equal amount of time with your children, even if in the short term it feels like a move that can “keep the peace” with a controlling ex. If you find yourself in this situation, enlisting a family law attorney with experience dealing with this personality type can be pivotal in protecting your rights. 

Did you already sign off on a poor custody agreement? You can always apply for a modification (change) to your custody order by providing evidence to the judge as to why you believe spending more time with your children is in their best interests.

Fear: Your children will be turned against you 

Parental alienation is a distressing and widespread problem, especially as a side effect of high conflict divorce. Warning signs that your child is being turned against you include: 

– Your child is angry with you or acts withdrawn around you for no apparent reason.

– Your child feels guilty after spending time with you. 

– Your ex asks your child to “spy” on you during your parenting time.

– Your ex keeps your child away from you.

– Your ex gives your child the choice whether to see you or not during your scheduled time.

– Your ex asks your child to choose one parent.

– Your ex speaks negatively about you in front of the child.

Here’s what you need to know about your rights: when you do have time with your kids, you have a right to establish a relationship with your children that is independent of their relationship with the other parent and free from interference by the other parent. Interference includes not only direct interruption of your parenting time, but also more indirect actions, such as interfering with your communication with the children or subjecting the children to negative comments about you.

One major way to protect yourself and your relationship with your child is to keep meticulous records about your interactions with your children and your ex. Note conversations with the other parent, keep printouts of text messages and emails, call logs, and any disruptions to parenting time. Also document your relationship with your child, keeping a log of your parenting time with places you go and how you spend your time together. Save receipts and take photos during your time together. Write down the names of people who were around you when you spent time with your child, in case you need witnesses. If the alienating parent is claiming that you had a negative relationship with your children, showing up with evidence proving otherwise is very important.

In more extreme situations, you can also enlist an expert to perform a forensic (aka in-depth) evaluation of your child custody situation. The expert evaluator will conduct interviews of the parents and the child and possibly conduct psychological testing on all parties involved to determine if there are any issues.  The expert will then issue a written report with their findings.  A hearing can then takes place where the expert testifies about their report before a judge and can be cross-examined. 

The good news is that family courts are very in tune with parental alienation issues and have the ability to issue certain remedies, including ordering reunification therapy and modifying the custody order.

And hopefully knowing all this can help you get some much needed sleep. 


Want to learn more secrets and get a taste of our expert-led Men’s Divorce Bootcamp? Watch our FREE webinar  on How to Avoid Costly Mistakes in Divorce. Our short and to-the-point webinars give you tactical tips you can immediately put into practice to save you time, money and stress. Start watching now. 


Men Getting Divorced: Should I move out of the family home?

By Blog, Coparenting, Divorce

Men Getting Divorced: Should I move out of the family home?  

At face value, moving out of the family home after you’ve made the decision to divorce may seem like a no brainer. Maybe you and your spouse are arguing all the time or you feel very awkward around your spouse. Perhaps you have a new romantic partner. It might seem easier to say, “I’ll move out and you can live here with the kids until the divorce is final.”

However well-intentioned your thought process may be as you contemplate getting your own place, you need to know that leaving your home can backfire on you — big time — potentially adding YEARS to your divorce, straining your relationship with your children, and leaving you finances in shambles.

Here’s why… 

1. You give away control of the house — and your kids. By moving out, you are essentially giving your spouse unrestricted access to the house. Your spouse might decide to change the locks without your knowledge; and they can do that because you left. 

Your spouse will also control access to your children, so potentially moving out will affect your ability to see them, especially when you only strike a casual non-verbal agreement. 

2. You end up paying for two households. When you move out, financially you have also accepted paying for two households because it was your decision to move out and create this extra living expense of your new home while still being obligated to pay (at least partly) for the old one.  

3. Your divorce could end up taking longer. You thought this arrangement was only going to last a few months, maybe a year until the divorce was final, right? Well, in these Covid times, everything is potentially delayed in the court system, including divorce. If you need court hearings in your divorce, you may be waiting over a year for a single hearing — and paying for this arrangement the entire time. 

Also, let’s think about you leaving the house from your spouse’s perspective. Your spouse is sitting pretty in the house with the kids and their living expenses being paid. What motivation does your spouse have to settle? In fact, they might start fighting over every last small thing they can to keep the two of you locked in battle — because they already feel like they’ve won!

On the other hand, you’ve got the stress of not seeing your children and you’ve got the financial aspect of supporting two households and with no motivation to settle on your spouse’s part, there will seem like no end in sight for your divorce. It can drag on and on and on. 

Should you stay or should you go? 

The secret is — you don’t have to leave the home, and there are compelling reasons why you should stay. There is one exception: moving is IMPERATIVE if there is any history of domestic violence the relationship, including restraining orders. 

It’s also important to know that whatever living situation you decide is best for you as you divorce — whether that is staying put or moving out — you need to get the terms of your arrangement in writing so a sudden flare up with your spouse doesn’t lead to the locks being changed or the kids being kept from you. 

With the help of your attorneys as needed, you should draw up written terms that specifically outline: 

  • Who has access to the home and when. If you will stay under one roof, you can decide items such as who has access to the kitchen and at what times, for example. If you are living apart, and you moved out, you can reach terms such as what days/times you will have access to the house and whether you need to give notification before you stop by. And yes, you can include a term about not changing the locks.
  • Parenting time with the kids. If you move out, you need to establish your access to your children in writing. Will the kids spend time with you at your new place, or will you return to the family home for parenting time, while your ex goes and stays someplace else, or at least stays out of the way. Be specific about days and times will you will have your children.  
  • Household bills and household repairs. How will you share these? Get it in writing. 

If you do think it’s at all possible to stay under one roof, considering doing it. You may end up having a faster, smoother divorce and more time with your kids as a result.

Want to learn more secrets and get a taste of our expert-led Men’s Divorce Bootcamp? Watch our FREE webinar  on How to Avoid Costly Mistakes in Divorce. Our short and to-the-point webinars give you tactical tips you can immediately put into practice to save you time, money and stress. Start watching now. 






20 Things Men Need to Watch Out For In Divorce

By Blog, Coparenting, Fathers Rights

There’s nothing quite as devastating as having an ex-wife that tries to turn your kids against you. People who do this are called Alienating Parents. Listening to your children repeat distortions and lies can make you feel sad, angry, and helpless. Although you can’t control what your ex says, you can help your kids learn to think for themselves and keep yourself sane in the process. Here are some important steps to follow:

Read More

The divorce paperwork filing mistake that can cost you thousands!

By Blog
high conflict ex wife

The divorce filing mistake that can cost you thousands!

Your spouse cheated on you and now you’re filing for divorce. It’s true that infidelity is one of the top triggers for spouses to split. But when you go to file divorce paperwork, should adultery be the legal reason (grounds for divorce) you state on your forms? Turns out the answer to this question isn’t so simple, and getting your “grounds” wrong could put you on track for a costly divorce disaster.  

Are you about to make a major divorce misstep? Here’s how to using your filing grounds strategically to save money and headaches in your divorce.

Adultery or Irreconcilable Differences? How Filing Grounds Influence Your Divorce 

When you file for divorce, there’s a mountain of paperwork waiting for you, and buried somewhere in all the forms is a simple checklist asking you to check the legal grounds (reason) for your divorce. This list will vary by state, but most states offer several grounds to choose from, split between two basic distinctions: fault grounds for the divorce and no fault grounds. 

Fault grounds 

Fault grounds indicate that one spouse is “at fault” for the divorce through harmful actions and/or behaviors they displayed during the marriage. You will see adultery at the top of the list of fault grounds, followed by other choices such as extreme cruelty and drug addiction. 

No fault grounds 

On the other hand, “no fault” grounds omit laying blame for the divorce; neither spouse is viewed as being at fault. The most common no fault ground is irreconcilable differences, which simply means the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This ground can be applied to essentially any divorce.  

Think twice before choosing adultery as your grounds for divorce

The knee jerk reaction of someone who has been wronged by their spouse may be to choose the matching fault grounds as a “no brainer” decision. If the spouse cheated, then it follows that adultery is the legal reason for the divorce. 

However, here’s how this one decision can go very wrong in your divorce: 

  1. Filing for divorce on a fault ground sets you up for a more time-consuming and costly divorce, without any guarantee of a payoff. 

Whenever fault grounds are cited, you can expect to put much more leg work into your divorce (and pay more too) because you must provide required proof to the courts to substantiate your fault claim. You may need to hire professionals such as a Private Investigator and a Forensic Accountant to track down personal and financial information. Hiring outside experts takes time and doesn’t come cheap! Plus, there is also no guarantee these paid experts will find anything of substance. 

2. The law is not designed to punish cheating spouses 

Adultery is morally wrong, but in the eyes of the law there is not much repercussion in most states when a spouse cheats. You won’t automatically get a larger settlement just because your spouse was unfaithful and it won’t affect child custody unless the spouse’s cheating somehow resulted in abuse/neglect/harm of the kids, which is not common. Check your state laws carefully for what consequences, if any, exist for cheaters. 

3. Filing on a fault ground drives conflict. 

Even if you know you’re in the right, accusing a spouse of wrongdoing in a divorce often triggers immediate conflict as the spouse becomes defensive or seeks to “strike back.” A divorce that could have progressed smoothly and quickly towards settlement may suddenly become bogged down and highly contentious as the wronged spouse digs in and declares war. Whenever conflict escalates, so does the time and money (and stress) it takes to finalize divorce terms. 

What happens if you file for divorce on “no fault” grounds when a spouse cheated? 

Let’s go back to the checklist that appears in the divorce paperwork. If you check a no fault ground like “irreconcilable differences” and your spouse cheated, here’s what can happen: 

  • You skip the time and costs of hiring private investigators and other outside experts to prove the cheating happened. 
  • You have a better chance of having a low conflict (aka quick and easy) divorce because there is no instant trigger for defensiveness that comes from “pointing the finger” of blame.  
  • You can still recoup any financial losses! This is a big one. Many spouses who are cheated worry that money their spouse spent on their paramour will go unaddressed because they filed on a no fault ground. 

In situations in which a cheating spouse “willfully dissipated” (spent) marital assets on their paramour, here’s an inside secret: you don’t need to file for divorce on the grounds of adultery to recoup marital dissipation. This is a financial matter that you are able to address regardless of your grounds. Your attorney can do this through requesting certain financial documents during the discovery phase of divorce. Money spent from marital accounts in a wasteful way will be addressed by the courts. This applies to money spent during an affair or on gambling, drugs, and other illegal activities. 

The bottom line: before you tick that checkbox, really do some soul searching. What kind of divorce do you want? In some extreme situations, filing for divorce on a fault ground may be appropriate. For most divorces a “no fault” ground covers everything and comes with the bonus of greasing the wheels for a speedier, lower cost divorce. 

Choose wisely and you can avoid the potential for making a very serious mistake. 

Want to learn more secrets and get a taste of our expert-led Men’s Divorce Bootcamp? Watch our FREE webinar  on How to Avoid Costly Mistakes in Divorce. Our short and to-the-point webinars give you tactical tips you can immediately put into practice to save you time, money and stress. Start watching now. 




A secret to saving big in divorce? Choose the right filing date

By Blog, Divorce

A Secret to Saving Big in Divorce? Choose the Right Filing Date!

After you’ve made the difficult decision to divorce, your next choice needs to be a strategic one…

When is the best date to file? 

Your divorce filing date fixes a cut-off date for the accumulation of martial assets, including 401K retirement accounts, company stock options, and some bonuses at work. Assets accumulated during marriage — right up to your filing date — are considered marital assets. These assets will be divided in your divorce between you and your spouse. Assets acquired AFTER the filing date, however, are generally considered non-marital assets. These assets will not be part of your divorce and can be yours free and clear. 

Let’s say, for example, that you file for divorce on Monday and your next 401K contribution is deposited on Tuesday. Your spouse can only claim a portion of what the 401K plan was worth on Monday. Contributions made on Tuesday and thereafter are free from asset division in your divorce and yours and yours alone. 

What else do you need to know about your divorce filing date? Here are some key tips to make sure your filing date will save you money:  

You still have time to reconcile

Just because you filed divorce papers doesn’t mean you need to immediately serve your spouse. If there is still any room for reconciliation, remember that you don’t need to serve the papers for a certain number of days after you file. Filing simply gives you the safety of that cut off date AND the ability to keep working on your issues. If you use that in-between time to reconcile, that is wonderful, you can then have your filing dismissed. 

Another tactic if you are still considering whether you can still save your marriage is to establish a “tolling agreement” with your attorneys where you fix your own cut off date for martial asset accumulation. If you do ultimately decide to divorce, this agreement can be provided to the courts.

Your filing date is also the cut off for martial debts

Just like assets accumulated during marriage, the clock on marital debts stops ticking once one spouse files for divorce. You may wish to file sooner rather than later if you are married to an ex who is the type who will max out credit cards as a form of revenge. Filing before they are able to do that will significantly reduce/eliminate the likelihood you will be responsible for any of this debt.

Is there evidence that your spouse has been buying a lot on credit, or is your divorce conflict at the level that you could possibly see your spouse spending excessively as a form of revenge? Factor these in as you make your decision to file.

Picking the optimal filing date

To understand the best date for filing in your divorce, analyze all your financial accounts. Do you have upcoming retirement contributions, work bonuses, deferred compensation plan or stock option payouts coming up. What is your best filing window based on these dates? Even saving a few quarters of 401K contributions from asset division can contribute to heftier retirement savings that won’t need to be shared.   

The impact on alimony and other “marriage duration” issues on filing

Look into your state alimony laws to check for rules around what is considered a longer marriage that could be subject to more years of alimony, or even permanent lifetime alimony. If you file during your 19th year of marriage that could prevent your marriage from hitting the 20-year mark, which is significant in many states in determining longer term alimony awards. Similarly, there is a 10-year marriage benchmark for distributing social security. In marriages that last 10 years or more, it’s a federal law that the lesser earning spouse can make a claim on the other spouse’s social security if certain factors are met. If you are getting close to this milestone and divorce is on the table, it may make sense to file sooner rather than later.

When should you wait to file?

If your spouse makes more money than you, please know that this is a SECRET that works in reverse too! You can always hold off on filing should there be financial advantages for doing so. 

When you are strategic about your filing date, you can feel confident right from the very first step in your divorce that you are in control and protecting your future. 

When Mom Turns The Kids Against Dad

By Blog, Coparenting, Fathers Rights

There’s nothing quite as devastating as having an ex-wife that tries to turn your kids against you. People who do this are called Alienating Parents. Listening to your children repeat distortions and lies can make you feel sad, angry, and helpless. Although you can’t control what your ex says, you can help your kids learn to think for themselves and keep yourself sane in the process. Here are some important steps to follow:

Read More
Ask your divorce questions from a divorce attorney

The Top 10 Mistakes Men Make In Divorce

By Blog, Divorce

Men tend to make certain mistakes in divorce because they believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. But it’s crucial to manage emotions and avoid knee-jerk reactions when dismantling a family and shared property. Below are the top 10 mistakes divorcing men should avoid at all costs.

Read More

Spousal Abuse: When The Wife Is The Abuser

By Blog, Divorce

Spousal abuse doesn’t happen only to women. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 10% of men in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. However, the actual number might be higher since men are more likely not to report due to stigma: many men don’t want to be appear “weak” by admitting they were hurt by a woman.

Read More