The BIGGEST Mistake Men Make In Divorce Court

In Property Issues, Strategy Issues on August 2, 2008 at 12:13 am


            Men and women react differently to the divorce process. Men tend to view the assets of a marriage as highly disposable. This is where most men, at least those who complain about how “the system” did them wrong, make their mistake.

            Frequently, when a man comes into my office for the initial consultation, he will sit down and make the following statement: “ It’s over, I want out. What’s it going to cost me? How long will it take?”

            As a man, I can say that we are taught from the age of 0, to be self-sufficient, to view the world in such a way as to take what we need, to build our environment. We are supposed to know when to take a sacrifice bunt, in order to gain a homerun.

            These traits are what make men successful in the world, when they are dealing with other men, in business. Those same skills, fail men miserably when it comes to the arena of divorce.

            The husband who wants “out” of a marriage, is more than willing to let her have the house, and in exchange for his portion of the equity, he’ll take the boat. This is the single biggest mistake that men make. They are accepting a losing asset, in exchange for a winning asset.

            Homes have historically always gained in value, and momentarily ignoring the temporary ups and downs of today’s market, always will. A home is generally the largest investment that two married people have, as such there is frequently a great deal of equity, and more importantly, future equity, in that asset.

            A boat on the other hand, as the old joke goes, is a hole in the water, into which you throw money. Boats are without a doubt the single worst asset a man can take away from a marriage. And they do it all the time.

            They are bad because they are dead weight on someone’s financial wellbeing. Boats have ongoing costs to maintain them, like slip fees, scraping and engine maintenance. They lose value each month and very quickly become of no value, and you have to pay to have them scrapped.

            The same analysis applies to all the toys of a marriage that the men want to take, and the women are happy to dispose of, like planes, jet skis, ATV’s, motorcycles and cars. Anything that is a depreciable asset, should be split 50%/50%, and so should any asset that is going to appreciate.

            The rule for men is that they should not take an asset that is going to lose value, in exchange for one that is going to increase in value, just to get “out.” Hold your ground and be fair about it. Men need to think longer term about their financial security and then they will come out of divorce with a better settlement.

            The sacrifice bunt is rarely the best way for divorcing men who need to think about winning the game.


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