10. Post Tax Outcome
12. Closing Thoughts
13. About the Author
Introduction to Dad’s Financial Guide to Divorce
In “Dad’s Guide to Custody,” I focused exclusively on issues relating to a father’s custody concerns. My objective here is to address all the remaining hard or tangible issues confronting dad in a divorce. As you might suspect, they all relate to money.
I have tried to organize this guide in a way that allows a divorcing man (presumably yourself), who is uninitiated in the intricacies of the divorce process, to quickly develop a strong knowledge base from which to work as he walks through the system. Therefore, this guide equips its reader to most effectively partner with his attorney to achieve his goals.
To this end, I begin by explaining the basic definitions and concepts governing the court’s decisions relating to your and your spouse’s money – from property division to the issue of maintenance. I then focus on two specific classes of property, the marital home and the family business. In the final section, I discuss specific strategies you might implement to enhance your financial position.
My task is potentially greatly complicated by the fact that there are fifty states, each with at least minor peculiarities as to various aspects of its divorce law. But a more practical analysis reveals that the overwhelming majority of states have far more in common than not regarding their divorce law.
From 1974 to 1979, many states adopted the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, which, though amended in places, creates remarkable commonality as to these states’ divorce law. However, when there is an issue as to which there is no clear consensus among the states, I try to point this out.
Regarding your financial objectives, I make an important assumption in this guide which thousands of cases persuaded me is a safe one – namely, that during the course of your divorce and thereafter, you would prefer to give your parting wife less money than more – less maintenance, less child support (this does not reflect on your willingness to support your kids), less property, less attorney fees and more debt.
Finally, the information I provide in this guide is not intended to be used in lieu of an attorney. I have a low opinion of any man’s judgment who attempts a divorce without his own lawyer. (This incidentally is a redundant phrase necessitated by the common misconception that both spouses can use the same lawyer in their divorce). This guide if followed should make you a better client, and, as a result, your lawyer a better lawyer (i.e. more effective in his representation).