10 Divorce Tricks for Men When Dealing With A Crazy Ex-Wife
Going through a divorce can be an extremely difficult and stressful time for anyone. However, when you are dealing with a high-conflict, unpredictable spouse, the divorce process can become exponentially more challenging. As a man facing divorce, you may feel frustrated, angry, and unsure of how to protect yourself legally and emotionally.
The good news is that while you can’t control your soon-to-be-ex wife’s behavior, there are strategies and “divorce tricks” you can use to help get you through this time:
1. Keep Your Divorce Amicable
The first piece of divorce advice for men is to do everything possible to keep your divorce amicable. Many men going through their divorce make mistakes early on that make the process more contentious. Even if you don’t want a divorce, it’s best not to try to change your wife’s mind. Making threats or refusing to leave the marital home will only backfire. Don’t give your wife’s attorney any ammunition.
Instead, whether you’re filing for divorce or your wife wants to divorce you, cooperate fully with the process. Respond promptly to any requests for documents from your divorce attorney. Be reasonable during divorce negotiations. Go out of your way to keep your interactions civil, even if your wife is confrontational. This can help reduce the chances of high-conflict litigation down the road.
2. Work Closely With Your Divorce Lawyer
One of the most critical divorce tips for men is to have an excellent divorce lawyer in your corner from the very start. An experienced divorce attorney can advise you on the divorce process and help avoid common mistakes. Don’t try to get a divorce without thorough legal advice.
Be open with your divorce lawyer about your situation and concerns. For example, if your wife has a history of volatile behavior, share it with your divorce attorney so they can plan accordingly. Listen to your attorney’s legal perspective on divorce settlements, child custody arrangements, and the division of assets.
3. Document EVERY Interaction with Your Soon-to-be-ex
When dealing with a high-conflict spouse, having a record of every interaction can be invaluable. Save voicemails, emails, and text messages. Take detailed notes after phone calls documenting what was said. This documentation becomes crucial if you end up in custody litigation. Family courts look closely at both parents’ behavior and stability when making custody determinations.
4. Prioritize Your Physical and Emotional Health
Divorce is hard under the best of circumstances. When you are facing an adversarial divorce, it takes an even greater toll on your mental and physical health. That’s why another key piece of divorce advice for men is to invest time and energy into self-care as they navigate this difficult transition.
Make time for exercise, yoga, meditation, your hobbies, and seeing friends. Work on your emotional health by talking to a counselor or joining a divorce support group. Strengthening your support system can help you avoid feeling alone during the divorce process.
Staying healthy can also help you be the most available parent possible if you have kids. Your children will need extra love and validation right now, so take care of yourself so you can fully be there for them.
5. Don’t Make Legal Missteps Regarding Child Custody
When it comes to divorce and child custody, men sometimes make legal mistakes that work against them. You may be tempted to move out of the marital home or see your kids less to avoid conflict. However, from a legal perspective, doing this can hurt you when negotiating child custody.
Even if your wife wants you out, talk to your family law attorney before you make any major changes. If you voluntarily leave, it could be seen as abandoning the children. Make sure you follow your lawyer’s advice to spend as much time with your kids as possible before the divorce is final. The more time you get with them now, the better chance you have of getting favorable custody terms.
6. Try to Keep Communication Focused on the Kids
One of the best divorce tips for men is to try to keep the conversations with your soon-to-be-ex focused on the well-being of your children (if applicable). Even if your wife is being unreasonable, avoiding getting into petty arguments and instead redirecting the discussion to your kids’ needs can help reduce conflict. You want your kids to come through the divorce as unscathed as possible. Remind your spouse that you both need to work together to give your children stability.
7. Create a Financial Plan
Money issues cause major stress during divorce. As the stereotypical breadwinner, men may resist paying spousal support or large child support payments. However, unless you’re prepared to contest every financial matter in court, it’s smarter to work with your lawyer on the best possible financial plan.
Be realistic about what you can afford to pay and the marital assets you’re willing to divide. Talk to your lawyer about negotiating more time before a large alimony payment kicks in. Make a budget so you know how much you need to keep living comfortably. Planning ahead will give you more peace of mind.
8. Don’t Badmouth Your Soon-to-be Ex
It can be very tempting to vent to friends about your “crazy” wife or complain about her to your kids. No matter how difficult the divorce is, this is never a good idea. Badmouthing your ex can undermine your divorce case if it gets back to your wife’s divorce attorney.
Even more importantly, speaking negatively about your kids’ mom to them or around them can be very damaging emotionally. If you fight the urge to disparage your ex, it will help your children feel more secure.
9. Don’t Let Your Ex Dictate Your Future
For men going through divorce, it’s normal to feel anxious about the future. Divorce strategies like keeping your emotions in check can help you successfully navigate the legal divorce process. However, some men become so focused on the divorce that they forget to plan for a fulfilling life after.
Don’t let your soon-to-be-ex have power over your happiness. Talk to a therapist about how to move forward in a healthy way. When you’re ready, consider joining a singles group to expand your social network. Reflect on your goals and passions outside of your marriage. Instead of trying to avoid paying child support, focus on how to have a great relationship with your kids post-divorce.
10. Ask for Help When You Need It
Finally, recognize that no one can healthily go through a divorce alone. If you don’t have an extensive support system, make it a priority to find help. Whether it’s hiring professionals like a divorce coach or therapist or just spending more time with trusted friends, don’t isolate yourself.
If your wife’s behavior throughout the divorce is abusive, or you’re experiencing severe anxiety, ask your divorce attorney about additional resources. Many professionals can provide mental health assistance during this transition. Above all, know it’s not a weakness to reach out. Divorce is hard, so get the support you deserve.
Lean on Your Divorce Lawyer for Guidance
The divorce process in Minnesota can be complex and confusing. At Martine Law, our Minneapolis divorce attorneys help men protect themselves before, during, and after divorce. We have a successful track record of securing favorable outcomes for fathers seeking child custody.
Our lawyers craft intelligent financial strategies to help you achieve a fair property and asset division. No matter how challenging the situation, we will tenaciously defend your rights through negotiation, mediation, or litigation. Don’t face this alone – contact our Minneapolis office today to schedule a free case review.