Studies have found that women initiate nearly 70 percent of all divorces in America. When women initiate a divorce, many men are caught off guard and are unprepared, while their wives may have already consulted divorce lawyers and are ready to act quickly and decisively. That puts husbands at a serious disadvantage, as they may be left scrambling to protect themselves emotionally and financially.

However, if you belong to the 30 percent of men who initiate a divorce, you can gain the upper-hand for yourself by making as many social, professional, parental, and legal preparations as possible before officially beginning the divorce process.

At the Law Office of André J. Ausseresses, APC, our Irvine family law attorneys are dedicated to helping men navigate the complexities of the divorce process. And while it’s our goal to help husbands and fathers get the best possible outcome during divorce and custodial cases, we also know the actions men take during this time can have profound effects on the outcomes of their cases and their futures.

That’s why we recommend all men should complete these five tasks before initiating a divorce:

1. Focus on your children – If you have kids, it’s important to remember that a divorce can be an extremely emotional and upsetting time for them. In fact, divorce is often harder on kids than it is on spouses. And even if you have plenty of valid reasons for divorcing your spouse and plenty of evidence to supporting your decision, she may still push for full parental and custodial rights—and that’s often an uphill battle for fathers to face. By focusing on your children and being an attentive, caring, and loving father, you can increase your chances of getting a favorable custodial outcome during the divorce process.

2. Keep the details of your relationship and the impending divorce to yourself – It can be tempting to vent about your relationship with your wife, your marital problems, and why you’re thinking about getting a divorce to friends, coworkers, and even on social media. But doing so can be used against you, especially when you post personal statements online. If your wife retains legal counsel, they may scour through any and all aspects of your personal life to find damaging statements that can be used as evidence against you during divorce proceedings. It’s best to keep discussions of your divorce strictly between you and your attorney.

3. Ask questions and do your research – Although we do everything in our power to make the divorce process as easy as possible for our clients, we know that husbands and fathers feel the most empowered and confident when they’re well-versed in what to expect during a divorce. That’s why we recommend that our clients ask as many questions as they want and even do their own independent research. Whether it involves reading books about divorce, asking other men and women about their experiences with divorce, or even understanding the legalities of the process, knowledge is power and can help you avoid being blindsided by new developments.

4. Check your finances – Divorce can be expensive and a long, drawn-out process that involves plenty of disputes over money, finances, and assets. It’s vital that you make a thorough and exhaustive checklist of your assets before you initiate divorce to understand what’s at stake and how much may be vulnerable if your marital assets are split or divided in half. In addition, you should also ensure that you have enough money to live comfortable on your own and without access to your spouse’s income and assets, especially if she brought significant income into your home. If your financial situation could take a hit due to the divorce, begin adjusting your spending habits and monthly expenditures as soon as possible to better prepare yourself for the change.

5. Protect your mental health – Even if you’re dead set on getting a divorce and are anxious to separate from your spouse, you should never underestimate the effect that it can have on you emotionally, mentally, and psychologically. Seeing a marriage counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist can help you better prepare yourself for the struggles that you may face in the near and distant future after divorce proceedings begin and long after they conclude. Seeing a mental health professional or marriage counselor may also help you learn previously hidden truths about yourself and what you value in a partner. That information can be invaluable when you begin to date again, as it can help you avoid finding yourself in the same situation years down the road.

In addition to these steps, you should also do your research when it comes to finding the right law firm for you. There are many family law attorneys throughout the Irvine area, but not all of them understand the unique challenges that men face when they decide to end their marriages. Make sure the law firm you choose will give you the personal attention you deserve while you navigate this difficult and complex issue.

Need a Family Law Attorney in Irvine? We’re Here to Help.

The divorce lawyers at the Law Office of André J. Ausseresses, APC understand both California family laws and the struggles of being a man during a divorce. We know how to make sure you’re treated with the respect and fairness you deserve throughout the legal process, whether you’re protecting your assets or your rights to see and raise your children.

You can call us toll-free at (949) 244-8871, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or complete our online form to schedule a free initial consultation. There’s no obligation and no cost to you. Don’t wait to get the experienced legal help you deserve. Get in touch with us today, and let us help you with the next steps of your life.