Divorce Financial Advice for Men


Guys, can we talk for a moment. First off, we can all agree that divorce is the worst. Deciding to choose this thing called divorce comes with a lot of emotional baggage, the reality that your family will never be quite the same, and of course the money you had planned for retirement is possibly split in half.

Even if you have handled your family finances for the entire marriage, you still need to be sure you understand the intricacies of your financial options as well as your legal ones. In my experience working with men, there are some common mistakes to avoid that could ultimately save you money!

  1. Thinking that the assets are all yours because she didn’t work.

Listen, if you have been married for a long time and your wife was primarily a homemaker and mother during the marriage, I promise you she worked just as hard, if not harder, than you did. What you have together, you built as a team and you each deserve your fair share. Even if you begged your wife to get a job for years and she just refused, you still allowed the situation to continue and participated in the dance. Get over it.

  1. Refusing to give up retirement assets.

I see a lot of men that are emotionally attached to pensions and retirement plans and will negotiate a settlement that lets them keep those assets. Remember that both pensions and retirement assets are taxable income when you receive them. If you are earning significantly more money than your spouse for most of your life, chances are you will always be in a higher tax bracket than her. Take advantage of this fact and give her the entire settlement in retirement assets adjusted for HER tax rate instead of yours. This strategy has saved couples tens of thousands of dollars in taxes and they get to share in the benefit.

I’ve had a number of Columbus divorce attorneys not even consider this as an option. That is because they are trained in the law, not tax and financial planning.

  1. Being a bully.

Sometimes fear can show up in the negotiation process as anger and I see lots of men that make the mistake of thinking that being angry will somehow help the situation. Gentlemen, it’s just a bad idea. You’re both scared. Make sure that you work with a CDFA®, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst that will incorporate future financial planning into your settlement negotiations and everyone’s fears can be addressed fairly.

  1. Not Asking for Help.

You need to set pride aside and understand that you don’t know what you don’t know. Men are often motivated by saving money and will attempt to have a do-it-yourself divorce where they draw up their own paperwork. Bad idea. There are so many intricacies, both financial and legal, to the divorce process that you will save thousands of dollars by making sure that you cover all the bases.

  1. Badmouthing the ex in front of the kids.

Never, never, never, badmouth the ex in front of the kids. I don’t care if she does it to you. Let’s face it, the wife tends to be the nurturer and the one most tuned into the needs of the children. The two of you might not have been able to work things out but your challenges should never fall on the shoulders of the children. This is my main reason for recommending collaborative divorce over litigated every time. In collaborative the children’s wellbeing is one of the main considerations.

At winwindivorce.org, we want to help everyone in the divorce process to have a kinder, gentler, much more affordable process. At the very least you should educate yourself about collaborative divorce and its benefits to the family, and the finances. Let us help you.

This article was submitted by Donald Morris CDFA® and financial advisor with over 35 years of experience. Donald is the current president of winwindivorce.org.