Here's one thing every guy should know: it's estimated that women initiate 75 percent of all divorces.
Whether you're betrothed, engaged or even miles away from the aisle, it might be worth your time to think about the possibilities. Divorce happens, and when it does, it can't hurt to be prepared. Making mistakes in the face of a divorce -- particularly your tabloid-style nasty ones -- could mean losing your home, your business, your finances and -- if you have them -- your children.
Greg Norman and Laura Andrassy: The golf legend split with his wife of 26 years following an illicit affair with tennis great Chris Evert. In June, Norman and Evert were married in the Bahamas.
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John and Sherrie Daly: The two-time major champion and his wife filed for divorce in Nov. 2006, four months after she finished serving a federal sentence involving finances from an alleged drug and gambling ring. The divorce has not yet been processed, even after dueling court claims in 2007 of drunken rampage, knife wielding and sexual assault.
Lenny Ignelzi, AP
Alex Rodriguez and Cynthia Rodriguez: Less than three months after Cynthia Rodriguez first filed for divorce from the Yankees star, a settlement was reached to end the couple's five-year marriage. Allegations of repeated infidelity were at the root of Cynthia's divorce filing.
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Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook: They reached an out-of-court settlement, but only after several days of trial testimony exposed lurid details of architect Cook's affair with a teenage assistant and his predilection for Internet porn. The 54-year-old former supermodel agreed to pay Cook $2.1 million. She gets to keep 18 properties in the Hamptons and custody of the kids.
Dimitrios Kambouris, WireImage.com
James McGreevey and and Dina Matos: She was at her husband's side when he announced in 2004 that he was gay and resigned as New Jersey governor over an affair with a man. In a memoir, she said he hid his homosexuality; he denied it. He said they had trysts with a man; she denied that. A judge ruled in August he has to pay child support -- but no alimony.
Noah Addis, Pool / AP
Bill Murray and Jennifer Butler: When she filed for divorce in May, Butler alleged the funnyman actor abused her and was addicted to marijuana and alcohol. She also alleged he would often leave home without telling her, traveling overseas to engage in "public and private altercations and sexual liaisons." Murray refused to comment on the allegations. The divorce was quickly finalized.
Robyn Beck, AFP / Getty Images
Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and Dawn Gibbons: When Gibbons filed for divorce from his wife of 22 years in May, he also sought a court order to evict Nevada's first lady from the governor's mansion in Carson City, Nev. In court papers, Dawn Gibbons accused her husband of abandoning their marriage because of his "infatuation and involvement" with the wife of a unnamed doctor. In June, the couple announced they were suspending divorce proceedings. Stay tuned.
Cathleen Allison, Nevada Appeal / AP
Hulk Hogan and Linda Bollea: Bollea filed for divorce from Hogan in November after 23 years of marriage. In June, she filed a court motion asking a Florida judge to throw the wrestling star in jail -- for failing to pay her $4.2 million to get an apartment. Bollea is dating a teenager 29 years her junior.
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Roman and Irina Abramovich: After he allegedly was caught with a woman half his age, the Chelsea soccer team owner -- who is worth around $22 billion -- reportedly paid his ex-wife $2 billion in a divorce settlement in 2007.
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Jason and Joumana Kidd: The NBA point guard's divorce went public in early 2007 after his wife blasted the star in divorce filings, accusing him of sleeping with strippers and reporters.
Evan Agostini, Getty Images
#10 Being ill-prepared for testimony Maybe winging it got you through college, but the stakes are much higher now. A good lawyer will coach you on how to present your case. You'll need to know what to emphasize, what to leave out and how to answer the tough questions from the other side's lawyer. Think of it as the oral exam of your life!
#9 Not taking outside consultants seriously Many recommendations that your judge will hear during your case will likely come from outside consultants. Your attorney should help you prepare to talk to the psychologists and other experts.
#8 Doing a quick and sloppy job on financial records You don't keep great records of what you spend? Most guys don't. But, if you can't account for money left over at the end of the month, it will likely go to your soon-to-be-ex. Now would be a good time to invest in a copy of Quicken or some other money-tracking tool.
#7 Neglecting the kids Quick, what's your child's teacher's name? When did he last go to the doctor, and while you're at it, what's the pediatrician's name? Most men want to contest the custody arrangements that their wives propose. Now is always the best time to start getting more involved in your kid's life. While you're at it, why not start keeping a scrapbook? #6 Talking too much -- especially to your wife Most guys can't resist getting sucked into conversations or verbal sparring during conflicts. This is not the time to share! You don't have to prove that you have the upper hand or blow off steam. Remember, everything you tell her will find its way back to her lawyer.
#5 Failing to push your lawyer for a quicker trial, better temporary orders or, if necessary, a new judge Before you go to trial, your judge will assign what are called temporary orders to set the rules until the divorce is final. Speak up if those orders seem unfair. If it's a long time until your trial date, judges will often make their final decisions based on the observation that it's worked this long, so why change it?
#4 Concealing information from your lawyer It's natural to be embarrassed and to hide the parts of ourselves we are ashamed of. Don't do that with your lawyer. If your wife knows about it, her attorney is going to know about it. Give your lawyer the whole story, pretty or not. #3 Choosing a lawyer too quickly Most guys spend more time choosing a two-year cell phone plan than an attorney whose service will influence the rest of their lives. Do some research. Interview more than one attorney. His or her guidance will likely affect you for the next 50 years or so.
#2 Waiting for your wife to file for divorce When they discover that they are headed for divorce, many men invite their wives to take the initiative to "go ahead and file." It is a delicate situation when a marriage hangs in the balance. But, if it is clear that she wants a divorce, filing first will allow you to assume a proactive role rather than a defensive one. Momentum often translates to a strategic advantage. #1 Moving out Guys often move out thinking that it will help the transition, be easier on the wife and kids or even help save the marriage. To the courts, moving out often means you are abandoning your claim on the house, the children and your belongings.
Rick Ortiz is the editor of DadsDivorce.com, an online resource for men at any stage of divorce. Advice in this article is adapted from his upcoming book, "The 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce" and popular seminar presented by Cordell & Cordell, PC.