Men do advance divorce planning. By the time his attorney has sent a process server ringing the front doorbell to serve you with the divorce petition, a man has been planning his divorce for as long as a year with his attorney, his accountant, his stock broker, his personal financial advisor, and anyone else who can assist him with hiding assets, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and other property. This groundwork is laid so thoroughly that the wife's private investigators, forensic accountants, and even the IRS will never be able to locate the first dollar. Once the husband's assets are well concealed, a typical divorce scenario begins to unfold. Your husband suddenly exhibits severe and terminal symptoms of the dreaded and feared disease known as
"IPS". You will recognize this disease immediately when your husband has moved from the house and after the divorce petition is filed. Next, your electricity will begin to flicker, the telephone ceases to ring, the pool turns green, your yard man is banging on your gate with his rake demanding his month's wages, there is no human, dog, bird or cat food in the larder, your gas tank reads empty, the children are pleading for clothes and lunch money, the joint bank account is mysteriously closed and devoid of funds, and the credit card company representative informs you in nasal tones that your name has been removed from the credit cards. In other words,
your husband has contracted an advanced case of "Instant Poverty Syndrome" (IPS) and he has ceased paying for your support. You must have planned for this in advance or you and your children will suffer. In her heart of hearts, every woman can detect the signs of impending divorce..."Darling, let's sell the house and move into something smaller" (a down scaled lifestyle means less alimony), "Dear, you have enough housework to do, I'll just throw my own clothes in the washer "(lipstick on his boxer shorts?) "I'm going out with the guys to play tennis," (you know he doesn’t have the stamina to clip his toenails, much less play tennis)...and so on. Don't let your emotions, anger, or your idealism and illusions - “ I love him, I know he loves me, he’ll never leave me and the children”- prevent you from planning in advance to protect the financial well being of yourself and your children. By the time you hit the steamy pavement in front of the courthouse steps, lack of strategy can have disastrous results. Keep smiling, be the same sweet biddable you on the exterior, and contain your emotions at all costs, while simultaneously seeking the advice of professionals who have not been connected with your family in the past. Begin saving and setting aside money to sustain yourself and your children until your attorney can obtain a temporary support hearing to force your spouse to pay for the basic necessities of life while the divorce is pending.
© Dawn Euringer and Brenda Bengis 2005 2006 All rights reserved.