There are many “old wives’ tales” circulating when it comes to men and divorce. However, the truth is often much more complicated than these deceptively simple statements would have us believe. Some of the more common myths about men and divorce include:
- Men almost never get custody of their children. While women used to retain custody almost exclusively, that is no longer the case. Courts lean far more toward joint custody arrangements whenever possible. In addition, about 17 percent of all custody cases are decided in favor of the father.
- Men cannot get alimony. Alimony is not based on gender or even the role each spouse played during the marriage. Instead, it is simply a way of making the distribution of marital assets as equal as possible. If your wife makes significantly more money than you, it is likely that you can get temporary alimony payments from her while your divorce is being settled. In some cases, husbands may be entitled to long-term alimony payments as well.
- Men do not file for divorce. While the majority of divorce cases are still filed by women, about 30 percent of all divorce cases originate with men. This has been true for the past 100 years, despite a common belief that wives are far more likely to file than their husbands. In reality, nearly one out of three divorces is filed by the male partner.
- Men must give up their family home in a divorce. The person who keeps the marital home is not decided by gender. Usually, the person to keep the home is the one who has primary custody of the children. In some cases, that is the father; in other cases, it is the mother. However, in joint custody decisions, either partner may keep the marital home provided that he or she has the financial resources to do so.
- Men are poor after a divorce. While there is no doubt that divorce is hard on an individual’s finances, men do not have to be poor for the rest of their lives because of a bad marriage. With the right help from a good attorney, men are perfectly capable of crafting a dissolution agreement that will benefit both partners and help ensure that neither is bankrupt after the divorce.
If you are a man facing divorce, contact the attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center today for help.