Wednesday, February 02, 2011

"Cordell shared his advice for what he estimates are the 500,000 men this year who will navigate the challenges of a divorce."

There is an interesting article on advice for men getting divorced in the Chicago Tribune (Hat Tip: Leslie):
As co-founder of a law firm that specializes in representing men in family law cases, Joseph Cordell has witnessed the devastating effects of male blunders. We chatted recently with Cordell, author of "The 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce: And How to Avoid Them" (Three Rivers Press, $15). He and his wife, Yvonne, are co-founders of the law firm Cordell & Cordell and have a website, A happily married father of two daughters, Cordell shared his advice for what he estimates are the 500,000 men this year who will navigate the challenges of a divorce.

Some highlights of mistakes men make from the book:

1. Moving out before divorce proceedings begin. "In custody contests, the continued daily interaction with your children and intimate awareness of the details of their day is key."

2. Choosing the wrong lawyer. "It's reasonable to ask lawyers how many divorces they have tried."

3. Waiting for your wife to file. "Judges, even after all their legal training and experience, are still prone to give a lot of weight to the story they hear first."

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Blogger Unknown said...

My ex-husband made a number of those mistakes, even though he was the one that wanted, and filed for, the divorce. I think he was way too distracted by his future life with his future new wife. I wonder if the men most in need of the advice this book offers would be aware of the book, let alone read it?

9:21 PM, February 02, 2011  
Blogger Ern said...

You know, a whole lot of what Dr. Helen posts reminds me how lucky I am to have stayed single.

9:39 PM, February 02, 2011  
Blogger DRJ said...

Here's another one for the Cordell's list: Getting remarried before your divorce is final, opening the door for your wife to file bigamy charges.

10:25 PM, February 02, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Ern, a whole lot of what she posts reminds me how lucky I am to have married the woman I did.


9:40 AM, February 03, 2011  
Blogger jimbino said...

Getting married must be one of the stupidest things a man can do, especially a man with some wealth.

If you want sex, hookers are much less demanding and, in the end, cheaper. If you want a dinner companion, a male acquaintance is better. Ever tried to discuss math, physics, film making, cabinet making or chess with a woman? If you want a friend, get a dog.

The truth of it is that it is only the wife, not the hooker, male chess partner, or dog that brings you grand tax deductions and those other 1001 benefits that states and the feds grant to the marrieds and the breeders.

If men could have kids by themselves to qualify for the vast tax deductions, exemptions and credits, women would go the way of the dinosaur.

12:49 PM, February 03, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

jimbino, I could not disagree more. In my view, men and women complete and compliment each other. My wife is a good gift from God. I would rather talk to her about movies, math, and what not than anyone. Now my best friends, heck, almost all my friends are guys, and I love talking to them. But my wife is my partner and soul mate. I have been in a bad marriage, and still pay the cost. But I am in a great marriage, and we both reap the benefits.

Good marriages are possible with the right woman.



1:59 PM, February 03, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

i can`t talk with my wife about math.

i can talk about history, politics, feminism, psychology, therapeutic process, nlp, soccer, our children, nlp, love, dogs, snowstorms, single malt and a nice fire on an evening, dinner for two at our place, terence mckenna, carlos castenada, scotland, england, climbing the hills of her childhood....

the list goes on.

and what trey said.

the moment i first saw her i got struck by lightning, and the feeling grows each day.

and you know what? if she decided to leave tomorrow, she`s free to go, and i`d give her what she wanted because there`s more money and things to be had, but one moment of fighting over money is more than i could ever tolerate again.

and most of my friends aren`t as smart, intelligent and knowledgeable and experienced in life as she is, and most of them believe in the hooker philosophy because they still haven`t grown up enough to be a partner to a real woman and think that sex is a commodity as much as many of these hair-and-nails types cruising for a rich guy to pay their way.

none of them supported my choice to marry my wife last year because they aren`t me. i don`t judge them for it and i hope they find that woman that will stop them dead in their tracks, but many aren`t looking any longer.

what was the question again?

oh yeah, advice for men getting divorced.

pay now.

negotiate a full and final settlement before she falls for her attorney...otherwise her lawyer, your lawyer and the other lawyer (the judge, for those who don`t pay attention to these things.) will dine on your carcass for years to come.

and if you think that talons and beaks tearing at your entrails doesn`t hurt, you are wrong....though i will say that you find a way to get used to it...especially if you think you can win.

and here`s the real`s not so much the money, it`s seeing you worn down.

full and final settlement will make her happy for a while, but eventually she will see you`ve moved on and she will regret letting you get off so easily.

if you have children together she will bite her lip each time you parent them as a father and choke on the resentment that she can`t do that and niether can any of her now-and-then boyfeinds and many of those will stay away due to her anger.

i can say i`m actually happy now, after all the thinking i could win, and giving my lawyer cheques and going court monthly over some such piece of paper.

and i`m grateful to a couple of women for actually convincing me that things could be dealt with differently.

two strippers that a friend brought to my apartment new years eve three years ago told me that i needed to pack up shop and move on, stop paying lawyers (i fired mine the next morning.) and realise that i had more to offer myself and my children than more court dates and legal costs.

to those beautiful russian girls (i see the appeal) that shared my wine and champagne that evening i will be eternally grateful for opening my eyes.

why did they say the things they did? who knows, the evening was paid for anyway, and the advice didn`t change a thing between us then.

i was fortunate then, and i`m fortunate now.

i should write abook!


3:30 PM, February 03, 2011  
Blogger DRJ said...

There are exceptions but, in general, men and women fulfill different roles. Women are more likely to be caregivers, while men are more adventurous and independent. We complement each other in our personal relationships and as parents.

4:13 PM, February 03, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

DRJ we CAN complement each other, or we can tear each other apart.


4:59 PM, February 03, 2011  
Blogger JBL said...

Cordell also asserts that 95% of all divorces are avoidable.

His explanation is that with the exception of the Three A's (Adultery, Addiction, and Abuse), there is no justification for ending a marriage. And in many cases where there are one or more of the Three A's, the "wronged" partner is actually the one who is willing to try to work it out, as long as the abusive/addicted/adulterous partner is willing to work on giving up their abuse/addiction/adultery.

Kinda makes you think.

6:13 PM, February 03, 2011  
Blogger DRJ said...


I think I know what your point is -- that sometimes the different perceptions and attitudes we bring to a marriage create conflicts that drive us apart -- and if so then I agree with you. I suspect we would also agree that our differences only drive us apart if we let them, instead of seeing how different attitudes can enhance relationships.

I like to analogize it to business partnerships. Imagine 2 people who come together to form a business partnership to sell widgets. Partner A is a creator who has ideas that make the best widgets, and Partner B is a business person who is skilled at producing and marketing products, and putting together a team to run the business. Partners A and B make a good team because they bring complementary skills to the partnership. Nevertheless, I'm sure there are times when creative Partner A disagrees with realistic Partner B -- something that is bound to happen because of their different skills and attitudes -- but hopefully their shared interests enable them to see the value of each partner's contributions.

But maybe not. In today's world, disagreements and conflict are often viewed as unacceptable and I think that's unfortunate -- in politics as well as family relationships, but that's another topic.

7:54 PM, February 03, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

I found one comment in the Chicago Tribune article interesting:

"Often for men, their wives are their best friends, so they don't really have anyone else to talk to about the emotional challenges they are facing."

Humor me while I put on psychologist hat. There is a study that shows that 30% of married men with no children in the US have what is known as Private Restricted Social Networks. This is defined as: A limited support network is typical of married couples who mostly look only to each other for support, only rarely connecting with locals for help.*

So I can see why a divorce would be absolutely devastating for 30% of all men with no children. They would lose their entire social network.....of one woman. Perhaps rather than giving them concrete yet debilitating legal advice, we might look at changing acceptable cultural practices and encourage married men to maintain a network of friends and acquaintances.


Wenger, G. C., Dykstra, P. A., Melkas, T., & Knipscheer, K. C. P. M. (2007). Social embeddedness and late-life parenthood: Community activity, close ties, and support networks. Journal of Family Issues, 11, 1419-1456.

8:03 PM, February 03, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

cham, unfortunately, in that situation the woman works tirelessly to break those same social bonds...and most guys give in to that do most women.

my wife is going out tonight with an old friend who just made the bar in ontario, they haven`t spent time together in years and they will catch up and my wife will be home by 10.30pm, not because i put demands on her, but because that`s the way we are...missing eachother.

9:28 AM, February 04, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

Dr. Alistair, think about it, if you look at the data you find that women are much less likely to break social bonds with friends and the local community once they marry. It is a percentage of men that willingly give up their social network once they marry. Then when divorce happens, illness happens or death happens we end up with isolated men with no social network. Since when this become okay? You can't tell me a hundred years ago we had 30% of all childless married men holed up in their Lazy Boy with the newspaper and TV talking only to their wife. Our current culture thinks this is perfectly okay and acceptable. The men willingly buy into it. Why?

10:01 AM, February 04, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cham, my ex hated all my friends - even the ones she never met and couldn't, therefore, even know.
And believe it or not, it took a minute for me to see that.

Friends and acquaintances I made were out of town, out of state, where I worked all the time. Hell in my small town, I knew the stewardesses and pilots on the same flight out of town I always took on Mondays better than I knew my neighbors. And of course, having the kids after the break up, left me without a network, or the job I had for the previous 25 years. Maybe I was a 30%er.

1:25 PM, February 04, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

my first wife was ok with my friends, though i never played the boys night out type games, even then.

my second wife pissed in everyone`s rice krispies so it was difficult to tell with her, but she disliked my friends.

this wife is suspicious of my starbucks friends, but is ok with it because when we are together we don`t go there much other than to actually get coffee. she encourages my soccer playing and the occasional social, which she attends, but we leave together and go home.

i`m not sure whether 100 years ago this behaviour amongst men was as widespread, but most guys i know that are married have a social network through work and hobbies, but do have a woman riegning them in when boundaries are crossed...or even approached.

maybe it`s protecting (blocking) the sperm from competing uterii...which becomes more intense in urban areas where the man has access to many more potential partners in a short period of time.

4:18 PM, February 04, 2011  
Blogger Michael K said...

I've been married and divorced twice. I used the same lawyer and he was terrific in getting everyone to agree and be friends. Not with me but with him, which was fine. He did well by me and would then take my ex and her (female) lawyer out for drinks after a day of haggling. He told me, "Remember one thing. You do not want to go to court."

The second divorce was tougher because my wife had gone crazy. A lot of it was alcohol and drugs but it was nasty. It is ALWAYS tough on the kids, even when they can understand.

Ironically, he then got divorced himself and his ex took him to the cleaners.

Now, I live in the mountains with my dog. He never complains.

4:28 PM, February 04, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

There is a judge in a county north of Nashville who is notoriously against the women in his court. He got screwed down here by the divorce attorney who does the work for the star's spouses. I am told he was savaged. Now he returns the favor every week.


6:25 PM, February 04, 2011  

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