Divorce Advice For Men – Divorce Lawyer Val Hemminger

divorce advice for men - val hemminger

Going through a divorce, how to potentially avoid it, and the truths and myths surrounding the matter.

Today’s guest Val Hemminger is a divorce lawyer and creator of the B.E.S.T method for lawyers, and she’s here to talk about fairness in divorce, how divorce can impact kids, what are the main reasons that lead to divorce, and some legal advice on the subject

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Hosted by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

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00:01:20 CHAPTER I –  Going Through Divorce

00:01:20 Fairness in Divorce

  • When going through a divorce, men are usually pretty stressed out. Wondering how they’ll manage financially, what the support obligation is going to be or how their relationship with kids will develop are just a few of the common fears that arise throughout this period. More often than not, men also fear that the court may be against them, but actually this is rarely the case. 
  • Most times in which men state that their partner “got everything” after divorcing, she or he may have only gotten just their fair share. This showcases a type of relationship in which the complainer had a wrong view according to which everything concerning the couple’s assets actually belonged to him and him only. 
  • The whole division of property can be quite frustrating in those cases in which one of the members of the couple would stay at home while the other would be more career-oriented and be likely the main and only provider from a financial point of view. For the latter, splitting things in half may not feel that fair.   

00:05:41 Divorce on Kids

  • How a couple handle their divorce is crucial regarding how it can impact their children. Kids can actually feel when their parents are in conflict, even after separating. Sadly, they tend to put the blame on themselves, believing that if they were lovable enough, that would keep their parents from constantly fighting. 
  • The cases in which the father is not able to see their children after divorce are extremely rare, and there’s usually a pretty solid reason that leads the court to agree on that decision, whether that’s physical or mental abuse, domestic violence, or any other similar extreme behavior. 

  00:10:34 Legal Advice on Divorce

  • If someone’s trying to serve you with something, the best piece of advice is to always show up and let yourself be served. Despite being a stressful thing to do, making yourself present in front of the court can save you from some really unpleasant consequences. 
  • Even though the idea of getting a combative bulldog-type lawyer is widely spread as the most convenient thing to do when facing a divorce, this can in fact lead to a lot of unnecessary stress. For the most part, turning to an attorney that has solid mediation training can end up being the best way to go in these situations. 
  • Before thinking of taking things to trial, less conflictive methods such as mediation or mediation-arbitrage can go a long way. In the first one, both parties agree on bringing in a neutral person that will help the confronted reach a satisfying agreement. In the second case, this neutral person will actually decree how things are gonna work out, in the case that both parties are unsuccessful to come up with a mutual arrangement that works both ways. 


00:19:56 CHAPTER II –  Avoiding Divorce

00:20:01 Avoiding Divorce

  • Keeping your communication B.I.F.F. –brief, informative, friendly and firm – throughout a conflictive context can pay high dividends when it comes to saving a marriage and avoiding divorce. This can be a hard thing to put in practice when the other member of the couple is clearly trying to pick up a fight through provoking and insulting statements, but it can definitely help put out the fire, not to mention that it’s by far the best way to proceed when there are kids involved. 
  • Letting your spouse know in a respectful way how you’re feeling concerning a specific saying or action from their side is also a healthy move. This is what Marshall Rosenberg calls “Non-violent communication”. 
  • Being empathic with your couple when they’re going through a hard time is also a good strategy to apply. Even though you may not agree with them nor their point of view, as long as they’re being legit as to how they’re feeling, being by their side is certainly a meaningful thing to do. 


00:25:16 Main Reasons That Lead to Divorce

  • Consistent disrespectful treatment and communication ranks high among the main reasons why people end up getting divorced. Often, resentment builds up proportionally as respect goes down between two members of a couple. Some other usual causes of separation are unbalanced relationships in which one of the spouses carries most of the weight, or excessive controlling behavior from one of the sides. 
  • Another think to consider on this subject is that, unfortunately, more often than not people get married for the wrong reasons in the first place – whether they understand that “it’s time to get married”, or due to the pressure their families or social environment would throw at them, they’d end up committing to each other on clearly shaky foundations.  


00:34:08 CHAPTER III – Thruths and Myths Arround Divorce

00:34:15 Deconstructing Stereotypes

  • There seem to be some widely spread stereotypes according to which all men are cheaters whilst all women are gold-diggers. Even though it’s pretty obvious that a same tag cannot be applied to all men or women, there are definitely some tendencies that have helped build those stereotypes. Stats reveal that when going through a divorce, women will push harder to keep the house, given that they seek stability for their kids. At the same time, an affair on the male side is one of the most usual reasons that lead to divorce.  
  • All legislation related to child support was actually created by the most conservative men in America, for whom the current numbers seem to be fair. However, the costs derived from alimony will vary depending on the region.  When both members of the former couple are financially similar, things tend to be easier – At the end of the day, it’s in the kid’s best interest to agree on a shared custody.

00:36:36 A Legal Eye On Your Current Relationship

  • Even though it can be an unpleasant thing to bring to the table, It’s key that your relationship has a foundation solid enough that allows you to discuss uneasy topics such as prenup or an agreement on the division of property. If you feel your relationship risks breaking due to that, beware! – it will most likely get broken way harder a few years down the road.