Big topic today — and an unfortunate one. A lot of you guys have been asking about this, and I’m here to help. Today I’m going to show you how to get divorced as safely as possible. If you’re in a traditional monogamous marriage with no prenuptial agreement, this is how you get out of there in the least bad way you possibly can.
Divorces suck. I went through this myself many years ago. I have coached a lot of guys through this process, and it’s no fun, but the rewards are oh so worth it!
You have to do this in a way that causes the least amount of chaos possible and poses the lowest financial risk. A lot of guys fuck this up. Keep in mind, this is a big topic and there’s only so much I can cover in a single article, but I’ll do my best to be comprehensive.
Take this step by step, and you will come out ahead.
Step 1: Don’t fight.
This is when you’re still living with your wife. You have to plan on leaving — in advance. Be strategic and smart about this. The one big edge that we men have is that we can control our emotions a little better than women can (and yes, there are always exceptions to the rule). Use that to your advantage. Don’t go to war against your wife; be smart and strategic. If she’s screaming and yelling, play it beta for a while until you can get the fuck out of there, because that’s the objective.
The more you fight with your wife during this process, the worse it’s going to be for everyone, including (and especially) your children, if you have any.
Step 2: Get a Safety Deposit Box
This is one of the first things you need to do when you’re getting ready to leave your wife. I did this myself. Go to a bank you don’t normally bank at, open a safety deposit box, and start shoving cash into it.
Don’t open an account, you just want a lot of cash with no paper trail. It will cost money to hire an attorney, move out, get an apartment if you need one, and so on. You’ll need to be able to afford these things, so you’ll need the cash on hand. And again, don’t set this up in a checking or savings account — cash, cash, cash! She’ll have no access to it and no idea it’s there, which is what you need right now.
(Note: In the past I have recommended against using safety deposit boxes and that recommendation still stands. During a divorce this is a temporary exception only; you can dump the box once you’re moved out.)
Step 3: Set Up a New Mailing Address
During the divorce process, you will need a way to receive mail that your wife doesn’t have access to; you can’t have mail sent to your house because she’ll intercept it, especially if you move out.
Just go to a post office, a UPS store, or one of those Postal Annex locations and set up a post office box. Like the safety deposit box, it’s just temporary; you’ll only be using it for a year or two at the very most. But you need a separate active mailing address. Get that set up in your name only, of course.
While you’re doing this, keep shoving cash into your safety deposit box — every week, if at all possible.
Step 4: Locate an Apartment
Some of you are probably thinking, “Wait a minute — a real Alpha Male kicks that wife out of HIS house!!! I ain’t moving out myself!!!”
If you’re in a traditional monogamous marriage and you tell her to get out of the house, what is she most likely going to do? She’s going to laugh in your face. Then what? Are you going to physically pick her up and carry her out? Yeah, sorry, in the Western world she’ll call the cops and you’ll go to jail.
If you’re married to a normal, everyday wife — not some little submissive thing — you’re going to have to plan on getting a small, cheap studio apartment somewhere so you can be a man again and not have to deal with a ranting ex-wife. Again, it’s only temporary. Make the assumption in advance that she’s not going to leave the house and make living arrangements elsewhere.
You’ll want it to be reasonably close to the house if you have children. If you don’t, it can be anywhere in the city you want. Find out all the details: rent, deposits, how quickly you can move in, everything. Write up a budget so you know exactly what and when you’ll be paying.
You can even go there and fill out the application in advance so you’re ready to move out at a moment’s notice, if necessary, or you can plan to move out on a certain date.
The idea is to find something cheap. You’re going to be maintaining two households for a while, so unless you have a high income, find something as cheap as you can stand.
Step 5: Line Up Movers and an Attorney
Unless you have a bunch of buddies who are really reliable, pay the money and hire real movers. That way, you know it’ll get done. Find out how much you have to move so you know what you’re up against.
While you’re at it, take this opportunity to clean out your life. Get rid of old clothes, all the old junk in the garage, clean everything out, and get to the point where you don’t have to move a lot of stuff.
Also, find an attorney. If you have no idea where to begin, the best place to start is by talking to someone who got divorced and liked his results. If you don’t have anyone who can refer you, you’ll need to contact your local bar association (or the equivalent if you live outside the United States) and let them know you need a divorce attorney. More experience is better; find one with 10+ years, if possible.
You want to get the legal process rolling now. Don’t wait until you move out. This is part of what the cash in the safety deposit box is for. Get it moving. Just don’t serve your wife papers until you’ve moved out.
Step 6: Quietly Separate Finances
Most likely, if you’re a typical married couple, you have a bunch of checking and savings accounts with both your names on it. You’ll need to set up your own accounts (either at the same bank or at a different bank) with just your name on them and start operating under those accounts.
You see, we’re making a separation here. You’ve already got your own cash, mailing address, and an apartment lined up, so now you need to start separating your finances — slowly, quietly, and carefully.
Don’t make a big deal about this. Don’t go to your wife and announce that you’re setting up your own accounts because she’s being a bitch. (Guys actually do this.) No. Shut the fuck up. Be a ninja. The first rule of Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Fight Club; the first rule about divorcing your traditional monogamous wife is that you don’t tip her off about it until you’re 100% moved out and far away from her irrationality and drama. Be smart and control yourself.
Step 7: Move Out
Set a date and move out. You have all these other things set up and ready to go, so you’re good to go now.
Obviously, you want to move out when she’s not home. That’s what I did. I waited for a day when I knew she’d be gone for at least four hours, scheduled the movers, and as soon as she left, the movers came in and we hauled ass. This means you’ll probably want to pack the night before. You’ll have a limited window of time, so quietly pack as much as you can the night before without her getting suspicious. Once she’s gone, get moved out, and that way, there won’t be any fighting or screaming.
Step 8: Get the Legal Part Done ASAP
Once you’re moved out and you’re going through the divorce process — in the U.S., that means you’ve served her papers — your goal is to get that process over with as quickly as you can. Most guys are stupid about this and they drag it out. I dragged mine out for two-and-a-half years because I was dumbshit.
Don’t do that. GET IT OVER WITH.
I’ve talked to guys who didn’t do this, who dragged things out, and went to war, and spent between $50,000 and $100,000+ in attorney fees. I don’t care how wrong your wife is, that’s just flat-out stupid. If your goal is to go to war against your wife, you will lose. Divorce is an industry, especially in the United States. It is designed to be expensive — for you, the man. If you’re the breadwinner; it won’t be very expensive for her (yes, there are always exceptions).
The other thing is, most of the laws, particularly in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, are going to favor her, not you. You are fighting a losing battle if you want to turn this into a war.
The best revenge, if you’re really mad at your ex-wife, is to get divorced and then date super-hot young girls and get super successful after the divorce is over. The worst revenge is to go to war against her legally and spend your entire retirement paying goddamn divorce attorneys.
Get it done, even if you have to give up a little in negotiating the final deal. You might have to make some sacrifices to get it done quickly. Suck it up and do it.
By the way, your attorney will probably advise you not to do it this way. Your attorney will encourage you to fight, because the longer this draws out and the longer the attorneys fight each other, the more money they make. Be aware of this.
One Final Note
I’ll be honest with you. I didn’t cover the emotional aspect of this stuff, and that’s the hardest part. It’s hard to get divorced. It’s hard to move out — triple that if you have kids. Triple that again if your kids are little. I went through it, and it was one of the worst days of my life. It was terrible, but it had to be done. But you’ll be a better person for it, you’ll be a happier man for it, and in many cases (not all), your children will be happier too, especially if your marriage is really bad.
I’ve had numerous guys on my blogs say this and I experienced it myself: Several months after the pain of the divorce is over, you will feel happier than you have ever felt in your entire life, especially if you embrace the Alpha Male 2.0 lifestyle model. You won’t believe how happy you’ll be, but you’ve got to climb this mountain first.