Only 10-20% of guys win child custody and divorce: here’s why women keep beating us in divorce court and the bottom line on how to avoid being next.
I left it all on the field during my marriage. It started good. It went bad. We had a baby. It got better. It got worse. We had a baby. Marriage counseling. We made mistakes. We made up. More bad things happened and I realized that a relationship required two willing and active commitments. When that was no longer was a possibility, I left (after more than 10 years of trying). In fact, 73% of divorces end because of a “lack of commitment.”
“I chose a chance at happiness over the guaranteed misery of growing old with her.”
But at what cost? Every 13 seconds someone in the US files for divorce. 10-20% of divorced fathers win custody of their kids. And 43% of kids in the US are living without their father involved in their lives at all.
I imagined two children I’d never see again through parental alienation. Two children who wouldn’t know me. Two children who’d grow up without my influence or wisdom. Two children who’d turn to other guys for attention and guidance, because I wasn’t around. I’d do anything to avoid it becoming a reality and refused to let my hopes and dreams for them get obliterated. So, I prepared and executed a strategy that any guy can use to WIN divorce and custody.
“The general who WINS the battle makes MANY CALCULATIONS in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand."
– Sun Tzu.
If you’re eyeing these words, chances are I’ve already walked where you’re going. I’ve probably felt what you’re feeling. I’ve probably fallen where you stand. Divorce knocked me down. But I got up stronger and wiser — having recorded the lessons I learned.
Lessons that I wish I’d known sooner. Lessons that I offer you, like the shirt off my back. So, let’s grab a quick drink, and cover some ground that only a brilliant few get to hear before it’s too late.
Why Are Divorcing Men Losing Their Kids? And What Calculations Can Men Make To Avoid It?
1. We Don’t Get Our Minds Right
Suddenly, we’re not this stable, married guy anymore. The person we trusted the most is now enemy #1, often with bad intentions and we can’t anticipate what they’d do or say anymore. Meanwhile, there’s new situations and challenges we can’t prepare for. We stress out, fight an army of feelings and have little left to give. We become unrecognizable characters, shadows of our former selves — WHO FEELS LIKE OUR NORMAL SELF.
Bottom Line: A CLEAR MIND — sorting out your thoughts, feelings and emotions — is key to beating your Soon-To-Be Ex in court. Here are 6 ways (as detailed in my book) to get your mind right and prepare for the fight of your life.
- Deal With Your Feels
- Don’t Do It Alone
- Never Look Back
- Find Someone New . . . For Now (controversial – you’ve been warned.)
- Learn Why Divorce Doesn’t Favor Women
- Buy Some Time
2. The Courts Test Our “MANity” And We Lose
MANity measures how Mature, Responsible, and Capable we are. It also measures how much Spousal & Caregiving Partnership we showed throughout our marriage. Winning the MANity Challenge is critical to winning our cases and custody. Women typically win in court because they can show evidence of being more mature, more responsible, more capable, and better spouses during the marriage. They also typically take better care of our children and have the evidence to prove it also.
Bottom Line: Win the MANity Challenge by putting together an action plan that levels the playing field before court. There’s a lot you’ll need to think about and address in court to win custody. Preparation is key.
3. We Don’t Have A Custody Strategy
Most guys walk into court uninformed, with no plan, no means and think the court is just going will give us our kids. That never happens.
Bottom Line: Begin crafting your custody strategy in four steps.
- Make sure you REALLY want your children and understand what you're getting into.
- Gather evidence that shows that you want your children.
- Show you’re currently and consistently in your children’s lives by tracking the time you spend with the kids.
- Use my recommended tracking technology.
4. We Come To Court Without A Parenting Plan
Couples often disagree on how to raise our children. In divorce, the stakes raise because one parent gets significantly more say in their children’s lives. Raising OUR children with OUR values becomes the equivalent of Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Loser goes home without your kids.
Bottom Line – Proposing a thoughtful parenting plan dramatically increases your chances of getting the custody you want. Very few parents come to court with an actual plan — they leave it to the court to decide. Proposing a parenting plan shows that you considered everyone, including the court. The more work you do for the court, the more favorably they’ll view you.
5. We Come To Court Unsure How Our Property Should Be Divided
Division of Property affects our bottom line. Our pockets. Our income. Our debt. Most guys underestimate how much we have until our lawyers ask us to estimate it all for court. Counting pennies, items, and statements takes a lot of time and effort, and frankly, we’d rather avoid it. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it.
Bottom Line – To beat your Soon-To-Be Ex, you must recommend how your property should be divided to gain an early advantage. Kickstart your division of property strategy in five steps.
- List and give your assets a monetary value
- Designate “separate or marital asset”
- Give your assets a non-monetary value
- Gently remove your “must have" assets
- List and classify all your debt
6. We’re Not Prepared For A Financial Affidavit
In divorce, separation, and custody cases, parents MUST GIVE their financial information to the court. The court needs this information to make orders about child support, alimony, or legal fees. Being ready for our financial affidavit is the MOST invasive request we’ll get, but it’s critical to beating our Soon-To-Be Ex in court.
Bottom Line – Getting all this information together will be time-consuming. Your lawyer will ask for these documents early on, so complete it as soon as possible and try to bring as much of it possible to your first attorney session.
7. We Don’t Choose The Right Attorney
Regular guys like you and I don’t know much about the legal system (outside of a speeding ticket here and there). In divorce, we need someone great to represent us, but we don’t always have a lot of time.
Bottom Line – Don’t be like most guys and waste time, money, and effort hiring an average lawyer or trying to do it yourself. Use your resources. Find the best lawyer you can afford — one that’s better than your Soon-To-Be Ex's. Then give everything you’ve prepared to your new lawyer and let them do their thing (and be the expert).
- Ask trusted divorced friends or associates for recommendations.
- Find out if your employer has an EAP (Employee Assistance Plan) to refer a great lawyer.
- Hire an aggressive, female lawyer to represent you.
- Avoid hiring friends, family members, or friends of the family for your case.
- Hire a better lawyer than your Soon-To-Be Ex.
You. Can. WIN. Don’t let anyone ever tell you any differently. If a painfully normal guy like me can easily WIN DIVORCE AND CUSTODY, you can too. I know it’s hard. I know it’s not where you want to be. But it’s where you are – and men are defined by how we respond to our challenges. I’m living proof.
I WON primary legal & physical child custody. I WON child support. I WON our home. I DIDN'T PAY alimony. I DIDN'T PAY spousal support. My Soon-To-Be Ex paid some of MY court costs and got visitation every other weekend. She worked full-time, didn’t have a seedy past and we raised our children together for 10+ years. Still, I WON. You Can Too.
**This is an opinion piece and should be not considered as legal advice. Some of the advice mentioned is specific to the US justice system (Georgia Law, applicable in all states).
Find his book on Amazon:MENy Calculations: Win Divorce & Custody Before You Even Step Into Court (Vol 1)