My Spouse Asked for a Divorce: What Do I Do?

Whether you expected it, or it came totally by surprise, hearing that your spouse wants a divorce is difficult to swallow. This announcement will change your life in every way possible, which is why you want to be able to process it in the best way you can and have a plan of action in place.

What are the next steps to take after your spouse asks for a divorce? Here are some tips to consider when hearing the news.

What to Do After Your Spouse’s Asks for a Divorce

Stay Calm

When you hear that your spouse wants a divorce, it can be difficult to remain calm. But, you need to sit back and listen and try not to overreact. You want to get the information you need from your spouse, like if they will consider trying to save the marriage or if they have already contacted a lawyer to proceed. You also want to listen carefully so that you fully understand the circumstances around their decision and where your partner is coming from.

Don’t Make Rash Decisions

While your spouse has likely been thinking about a divorce for some time before telling you, this may be the first time you’re hearing of it. They may be ready to proceed, but you are not. Don’t make any rash decisions that are based on pure emotion or reaction. You need time to process the information and what you need to do next. You don’t want to make any decisions you’ll regret later.

Try Not to Argue

It may be difficult, but arguing is one of the last things you want to do at this stage. Try to remain calm and avoid confrontation. Even if you have to walk away, it’s better than getting into an argument and exchanging words you can’t take back later.

Seek Reconciliation if Possible

While some spouses go into a divorce without wanting to explore reconciliation, others are willing to take action to see if the marriage can be saved. If your spouse is willing to do this, look for a third party who can help navigate a reconciliation. This may be in the form of a therapist or other non-biased source. If after trying to reconcile, your spouse still wants a divorce, you at least know you tried your best to save the marriage.

Get Financially Prepared

You want to take time to look at your financial situation and what a divorce will mean to your bank account. Do you have several joint accounts? What about credit cards? Are you able to support yourself financially without your spouse’s income or if you are the one who has to pay child support or alimony? These are all questions you want to answer as you prepare yourself for a divorce. Divorce will change your financial future, so being as prepared as possible is the key.

Be Patient

You will likely have so many questions when you hear your spouse wants a divorce. You won’t get all of your answers in a day and you won’t figure out your future all at once. Instead, take a deep breath and try to be patient.

If your spouse is trying to hurry the process, don’t rush it. You want to make sure you are taking the time to understand everything that is going on and how it will impact your life.

Seek Legal Help

Do not agree to any custody agreements, child support, or anything else until you have reached out for legal counsel. Even if you and your spouse seem agreeable now, circumstances and people change. What may seem in your best interest today, may not be in six months. By consulting a divorce attorney, you can have clarity about what is best for you and how to protect yourself during a divorce. Your attorney can help you make educated decisions about what is fair for you and what to expect if the case goes forward.

If your spouse has already filed for divorce, you will need to respond to the divorce petition. Having a divorce attorney at your side can help guide you through the process. Even if the divorce has not been filed, you still want to consult with a divorce attorney so that they can help you understand the process, answer your questions, and explain your rights.

The Bottom Line

When your spouse asks for a divorce, you want to remain calm, especially if you feel as though you’ve been blind sighted. Hear what they have to say so that you can develop your plan of action. Try not to make any rash decisions and try not to argue. Also, be patient with the process and take your time to understand everything that is going on. Seeking legal counsel from a divorce attorney is the best way to navigate through the process and ensure that you are making decisions that are in your best interest. Please do not hesitate to give me a call: Bill @ 714.841.1931.