A special bit about the way men can be short changed by the divorce process. Much concern has been expressed about a divorce system that, at times, appears to substantially favour the wife to the detriment of the husband.
The divorce system and how it affects men
There is no doubt that men are often seriously disadvantaged by the divorce system as it stands at present although there are indications that this is gradually changing. Seven out of ten divorce petitions are instigated by women who usually use unreasonable behaviour as their reason for getting divorced.
Many men (and women as well) are taken completely by surprise when they are told that their nearest and dearest wants them out of their life for reasons that may or more often may not be valid. Divorce is available almost on demand, the State is no longer interested in why you want a divorce and makes no judgements upon the validity of your reasons for wanting it.
The financial aspects of divorce are often the most difficult and stressful to deal with. Perhaps the best way to approach this is to get expert advice on your divorce finances as early as possible in the divorce process.
Legal costs and divorce
It was sometimes the case that a non working wife would be in receipt of legal aid while her working soon-to-be-ex husband has to pay at least double for his own legal costs because he has to fund his divorce solicitor from his own pocket.
A good number of men come out of the divorce process feeling angry and embittered at what they perceive as the unfairness of proceedings that may have forced them out of the marital home while continuing to support their children.
Care of the children after divorce
The wife is more often than not given primary care of the children and the husband may well lose regular and meaningful contact with them after a divorce. This is not good, for children need active and involved fathers for all of their lives.
The feelings of anger and bitterness can be exacerbated if the wife has had an affair and the husband places the blame for the marriage breakdown on the wife. He may well feel that this perceived fault should be taken into account and be reflected in any arguments about the financial settlement in the divorce.
Childcare, residency and contact are other areas where men can be seen to be disadvantaged both during and after divorce, with seemingly little account taken of a father's need to see his children and to keep in close contact with them. Tales of women manipulating and denying contact to fathers are, sadly, not uncommon and the courts appear disinclined to assist even where there is clear evidence that fathers are being unfairly treated.
National Family Mediation provides a network of local services which offers help to couples, married or not, who are in the process of separation or divorce. NFM trained mediators help clients to reach joint decisions about children, property and finance.
Resolution is the organisation formerly known as the Family Law Association which includes nearly five thousand lawyers and family justice professionals. They encourage the use of mediation to settle disputes during separation and divorce and aims to provide a non confrontational approach to matters of family law..
Families Need Fathers is a registered charity that provides support to single parents of either gender. Their main aim is to help children maintain relationships with both parents after marital breakdown.