On behalf of Wade Grimes Friedman Meinken & Leischner PLLC

For many men in Virginia, divorce is an area of uncharted waters. Even though virtually everyone has witnessed the divorce of a friend or family member, it is impossible to grasp the full scope of the divorce process unless and until one goes through it personally. This leads many men to make a range of mistakes as they attempt to move forward in divorce, some of which can have serious negative ramifications. The following advice is offered in the hopes of giving men the tools needed to make the best possible decisions during this challenging time.

One common mistake is to go into divorce ignorant of one’s rights. Many men want the end of their marriage to move forward smoothly and with as little contention as possible, which is an admirable and attainable goal. However, the result of this desire is often the reluctance to hire an attorney who will focus exclusively on one’s needs. The worst possible scenario is one in which both husband and wife are “represented” by the same attorney.

This offers a logical problem, as spouses hire an attorney to “represent” their individual needs and goals within a divorce. Therefore, one attorney cannot logically “represent” both sides. In the best case scenario, both spouses will receive a watered-down version of “representation.” In the worst case, one’s wife will have her own goals and will recognize that those goals will be easier to achieve if her husband does not have his own attorney.

Husbands in Virginia should realize that a collaborative divorce is possible and that reaching a mutually agreeable resolution does not require using the same attorney. A divorce attorney is a resource that provides guidance and advice based on a comprehensive understanding of the law. Having this resource in place can ensure a fair and favorable outcome, and is not a choice that should be perceived as adversarial.

Source: The Huffington Post, “The 10 Worst Mistakes Most Guys Make When Getting Divorced“, Oct. 29, 2014