The last thing you want to talk about is money when the most important thing in your life is coming to pieces. It just doesn’t seem dignified, somehow.
So, how dignified will it be when you can’t afford a tin of beans for yourself because you’ve signed the whole lot over to your ex? How dignified will you feel after making the grand gesture – even though toilet paper isn’t part of your immediate plan? Or electricity?
I know so many men who’ve waved their hands at the whole thing and said Fuck her, it’s only bricks and mortar.
Let’s be exact here: it isn’t bricks and mortar. It’s the difference between you having a chance of some sort of civilised life later on, as opposed to you ending up an old bum . You have to fight like a dog for this thing because it means your personal survival. You can’t afford grand gestures unless you’re a mega-millionaire, and if you are you have no business reading this. You’ll be ok.
I’ll post more about property later, but there is an issue of pressing importance to separated men that I want to talk about now.
Many men are confused about the idea of maintenance.
What’s maintenance? Is it money to keep your ex in clothes? No. It isn’t.
Maintenance is money to keep your children fed and clothed.
Let me ask you something. For simplicity, pretend that every month has four weeks in it. And suppose you pay your ex €400 a month in maintenance for your kids. (I realise this isn’t a realistic amount: it’s just to illustrate a point).
Now. Suppose your circumstances change and you’re able to have your kids at your place for one week in every four, where you can feed and clothe them and look after their every need.
How much maintenance should you have to pay then?
When asked this question, most men I know answer €300.
You ask them why, and they say, well that’s what you pay for three weeks instead of four.
The right answer is €200.
Because your maintenance is paid for YOUR two weeks of the month, and your ex is supposed to contribute a similar amount for the other two weeks.
So now, you’re only paying for one of your two weeks and not both of them like you used to.
Your maintenance is for half the time – not all the time. Whatever you pay needs to be matched by your ex. Your maintenance is for two weeks, not four.
Don’t be a sucker.