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Common Strategic Errors Made by Men during Divorce & Custody Disputes in Kansas

Common Strategic Errors Made by Men during Divorce & Custody Disputes in Kansas
April 19, 2013 LS_admin

While either a husband or wife may initiate the divorce process, a recent study conducted by AARP found that two in every three divorces are initiated by the wife.  The reason for this disparity may depend on who you ask with women indicating that husbands are more likely to engage in infidelity while husbands might argue that they frequently have more to lose financially.  Whatever the rational for the higher number of women that seek a marital dissolution, we have provided a list of common strategic errors may be husbands when they are confronted by the prospect of divorce.  A subsequent blog post will focus on common errors made by wives when facing divorce.

Hiding Information or Concealing Assets: While the traditional family dynamic where the husband is the primary breadwinner and spouse that manages a couple’s financial affairs no longer describes all households, this is still the case for many couples.  When husbands first learn that a spouse has filed for divorce, a husband frequently will fear the losing a substantial portion of assets and potential alimony and/or child support obligations.  While the husband and father may assume that his unknown income or financial information as well as hidden assets may never be discovered, this is rarely the case.  Sometimes an expert like a forensic accountant may discover the information, which can lead to serious consequences because you have a fiduciary obligation to provide full disclosure.  Intentionally omitting, distorting or failing to disclose assets or income to avoid child support, alimony obligations or a proper distribution of assets can result in serious sanctions, which includes consideration during the distribution of property and attorney free awards.

Moving from the Residence: When you move out of the family home during a divorce, the probability is higher that your spouse will end up with the family residence.  An important consideration in child custody cases is providing stability to the minor children.  If the children are left with mom in the family home, this may well create a de facto basis for continuing this type of arrangement to reduce the change your children are forced to confront.  If you move out of the residence and leave the children with your spouse, she may also appear to be the primary caregiver for the children which is also important in a custody dispute.  Until you seek formal custody and visitation orders, you will also be at the discretion of mom in terms of your ability to spend time with your children.  If you move out of the family residence, it also may increase the expenses you are forced to cover because you may be forced to contribute to the mortgage to preserve the family home as an asset or to make temporary alimony payments.

Inadequate Parenting Time:  Many dads cut back on the time they spend with their kids to avoid conflict and animosity from the other parent.  If you spend less time with your children, the probability that your spouse gets primary custody increases significantly.  When both parents are in the family home, there is more of an assumption that both parents are spending substantial time with the kids unless one parent is away from home for significant periods of time or long hours.  Even if you want to spend more time with your kids, mom may not cooperate.

Getting Upset or Blowing Up: Domestic violence allegations can have a significant impact on a custody dispute so you should avoid situations that may arm a spouse with evidence that might appear to support such a claim.  Further, if you express negative attitudes about your spouse in front of the children, this may be used against you when the court is considering custody orders.

If you have questions about custody or visitation in Kansas, we urge you to schedule a free consultation so that we can answer your questions.  Wichita, KS child custody attorney Thomas C. McDowell has been practicing law for over two decades.  We provide legal representation in both divorce and paternity cases.  So please call us today at 316-633-4322 or submit an online case evaluation form.


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