While you are sorting through the anger of maybe joy of getting divorced, there are many things that men fail to take into account when physically separating from their spouse. This is made more complicated if you have kids and even if you have more money than most men, you dont want to burn through it unnecessarily because you are just getting in to the big costs of the lawyer and child support hell. How you handle this is very important for both your mental and financial sanity.
Conventional wisdom says don't leave the marital home until you have at a minimum a parenting agreement in place. A big mistake men make it to think their wife will actually negotiate fairly and allow for a friendly separation. She will not and do not think otherwise. In most cases, she isnt leaving the home especially if you have young kids and she does not have a man lined up. Issues of domestic violence, infidelity, and other deplorable behavior can change that but assuming most people just want to be separated, the trick is how will you do it without showing the court that you are abandoning your children or some other garbage which reduces your chance at equal custody, which your wife refuses to give you.
Until you separate, the assets you earn and the debts incurred belong to both of you. Once separation is clearly going to happen, you dont want to deal with your wife stealing or eliminating marital or premarital assets while also running up debt. It will happen. While you are at work, anything can happen. I know men who have come home from work and the wife had emptied the home and left a note. You can document and take pictures all you want of these personal items before she does it, but you wont get the financial value of what was stolen when it comes time for equitable distribution. Do you also want to spend more money trying to argue what asset that was taken was not used for a marital purpose or sudden charges are not for the marriage. The time and money spent fighting this is not going to put you back to where you were before your wife started acting poorly.
While you are in the home at any time a woman can make false allegations of violence. All she has to do is call the Sheriff and you will likely be arrested. The Me Too movement is real and do not think your wife will not play that card no matter how passive of a blue pilled man you are.
My point is dont be afraid to leave if your wife is going to play hardball and not agree to equal custody of the kids. You have too much to risk and you are simply delaying the rebuilding of your life. Once you come to this realization, you are now trying to set yourself up to show the court that despite you leaving your home, that you are still a worthy parent deserving of equal custody.
I give this advice based on personal experience. I left my home because I saw my personal items disappearing and because I had a job, I could not be at home to protect my interests. I made the mistake of telling my wife I wanted a divorce and I was willing to leave the home which was a mistake, but that analysis will be for another post. If I was going to leave, the longer I stayed the more I was going to lose, I wasnt getting to see my daughters each day because as soon as I got home, they were whisked away, given a bath and put to bed before I could even settle in. Any attempts by me to keep them up for evem just some brief time sitting with them on the couch was met with physical confrontation where they were literally pulled from my arms and told they were going to bed. I could either escalate to keep them up or back down and accept I what I was married to and add one more stone to my pile of belief that leaving my marriage was the right decision. When I would later find recording devices in my home that the wife had placed to tape me as she tried to provoke me into violence, i thanked God that I had the intelligence not to yell or threaten my wife so she could call the Sheriff and play the tape to get me arrested costing me my freedom and professional licenses. This happens guys to many men and even the most mellow guy can be pushed into a single act of violence or threat to the point that he will be arrested because his woman knew how to push his buttons and set him up with it all being on tape. This is just one example of why leaving the home before a parenting agreement is in place has to be done once you realize your ex will not agree to equal custody.
Once you leave, you need to get a place that provides the same environment that your kids are used to in the family home. I left my home and proceeded to rent a house that basically looked like mine knowing it was a temporary place. If you sign a lease, sign one for no more than 6 months. If you have any savings, you want to as soon as possible try to get a place as close to where your ex lives so the kids are not having to travel too far while the custody issues are sorted out. If you have the financial means and plan on continuing working where you live, if you are a believer in home ownership versus renting, do all you can to buy a house. This will take some work and it may not be the easiest thing to do, but one of the best things I did to help me win equal custody when the trial came about 9 months post separation was to buy a home in the same neighborhood as my marital home. The 6 months in the rental home was really a waste of money and I probably could have lived with my mom during that time as I was only being given 4 days a month visitation by my ex and there was nothing I could do. You do not want to rush into a home purchase but do not be afraid to do it. The court wants stability for the kids and I basically got an equivalent house in the same neighborhood and combined with my constant emails to the ex asking for more time with the kids, I had done everything possible to show the court I deserved equal custody and would be in the kids lives. I lived around the corner from my ex and still do to this day and despite not speaking to each other since the day I left the home, it is very hard for her to argue abandonment and I showed the court I wasnt going anywhere. This helps you win equal custody of your kids. Staying put in your home and creating stability once I won equal custody has helped me survive her attempt to change custody and take my equal time away.
Every situation is going to be different and not all men have extra money lying around when they leave and are hit with child support and alimony etc. Dont give up or delay a decision so she can start removing assets and personal items while creating more problems for equitable distribution. Make a plan with your lawyer and dont be afraid to suddenly move out and take what you want to take. Telling my wife I was willing to leave the home was a huge mistake but it felt good when I pulled up with a moving truck and took my stuff and left to her surprise one morning. For all I know she had plans to empty the house the next week taking everything I owned, most of which I owned before I met her. It is a stressful time but you need a plan and the goal is to extricate yourself which saves your finances as much as possible and allows you to take what is yours without losing your personal items, which she will take and play dumb like some ghost just showed up and took them at the same time your marriage started falling apart.
If your ex is refusing equal custody, this decision is made easier for you. You cannot stay in the home. If you have relatives or friends that can help you, you may not need to rent an equivalent place immediately and can save that money to buy a new house that shows you are not abandoning your children so you can have it in place when in 6-9 months you are arguing to a judge for equal custody. While the Judge in my case probably didnt like me and hated my aggressive nature in court, I do not think he felt that I abandoned my children because I left the home. Judges understand when men leave and it can come down to asset protection, threats of domestic violence allegations, or just the desire to move the fight forward when a wife thinks she is the sole caregiver of the kids and you should have minimal access. Ids getting a parental agreement in place ideal before you leave? Yes. Doing nothing when you arent getting that is not the answer however.
Men need to assess their situation, give no hint they are willing to leave the marital home until custody negotiations will not allow for equal, and then leave. You cant take your kids with you and try to dictate to the wife how often she sees the kids like she will do to you. You must take the high road and spend the next 6-9 months documenting via email to your ext that you want to see your kids and to set up a new home near where your marital home was. While you dont have to move around the corner from the ex like I did, you cant go very far if you expect to get equal custody. Kids need continuity in their lives and drastic distances between parents or discrepancy in lifestyles is going to hurt the man in court.
There are things you can do to financially and emotionally to help yourself through this transition so you can find a better place to live and get equal custody of your kids which will help eliminate the financial loss that comes with only being the every other weekend dad. You will also find that being single with equal custody of your kids is more fulfilling than married to a horrible person where you take time with your kids for granted and the next thing you know they are 18 and gone from the house and you see what you are left with in a wife while your age is starting to really show.
Take action Gentlemen and the get the help you need to get yourself out of danger and rebuild your life.
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