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Help! My Spouse Asked for Divorce. What Should I Do Now? 6 Steps You Should Take

On Behalf of | Aug 28, 2023 | Divorce |

If your spouse just blindsided you by asking for a divorce, you likely feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. With divorce rates rising, you’re not alone. You have people who care about you and the resources to get through this.

You probably feel stunned, lost, and unsure of how to proceed.

Don’t Panic – Take a Breath

The first thing to know is that you and your spouse will have to live apart, with at least one of you intending for the separation to be permanent, for a year before they can file for divorce. This gives you valuable time to seek counsel and get clarity.

In the meantime, here are 6 critical steps to take to protect yourself and your kids during this difficult transition:

1. Don’t move out of the marital residence, if possible. And, if you are your children’s primary caregiver, keep them with you.
2. Protect yourself financially. Investigate the state of your finances and make copies of all financial records. Inventory and photograph everything in your home and remove any valuable personal belongings. Set up a safe deposit box for your valuables and get a Post Office box in a convenient location to receive your mail.
3. Hire an attorney. Ideally, you want someone compassionate and experienced whom you can trust. Once you’ve found one you feel comfortable with, talk to them about the specifics of your situation, your worries, and what things you need most.
4. Avoid arguing with – or bad-mouthing – your spouse. If you can’t discuss things calmly with your spouse, waiting until your lawyer can negotiate for you is best. You’re not going to win an argument with your divorcing spouse, and things could get violent. Meanwhile, your children are watching. Even if you have legitimate grievances against your spouse, your children will not benefit from knowing the details.
5. Consider counseling for yourself and your kids. Divorce is a stressful and sometimes tumultuous transition that can take an emotional toll on both you and your kids. Seeking counseling can help process feelings in a healthy way.
6. Negotiate a separation agreement. This temporary contract with your spouse determines how to share responsibilities regarding finances, children, and more while separated. It’s like a starter version of your divorce agreement. It’s important because it’s temporary – you can try it out and learn what works and doesn’t work so your final divorce agreement will be better.

Navigating the complex legal and emotional landscape of divorce can feel daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our compassionate team of attorneys can provide the expert guidance and support you need during this difficult time.

We’ll help you take the necessary steps to protect your interests and build an amicable path forward for your family. Don’t wait to seek the legal and emotional help you deserve. These tips should get most people started. There will be differences in every situation that we need to account for. Talk a compassionate attorney as soon as possible to get a detailed idea of what to expect.


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