Divorce is usually initiated by one party, even if both partners feel the same way about the future of the marriage. Of course, there are cases where someone is blindsided by the prospect of divorce. Whether you see it coming or not, being on the receiving end of a petition for divorce can be nerve-wracking.
When your spouse wants a divorce, there are a few steps you should immediately take to safeguard yourself and help preserve all your parental rights (if children are involved). For today’s post, we’re looking at a few critical steps or actions that you need to take as soon as you find out that your spouse wants a divorce.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
Hearing that your spouse wants to leave you is huge. Your emotions are likely to run amok, and you might be tempted to lash out. We highly advise against this. Yelling at your spouse, threatening him/her, and acting out in any way is never okay. Not only can you face legal ramifications, but this places you at an unfavorable position before the divorce has even started.
Gather and Protect all Important Documentation
Once divorce is on the table, you need to start gathering documentation and take steps to protect any important evidence. We’ve seen this far too many times: a soon-to-be-ex begins destroying valuable records or other forms of evidence to help his/her cause and weaken the other person’s case.
Stay in the Family Home and Take Allegations of Abuse Seriously
Living with someone you’re planning to divorce can be brutal, but moving out can be a huge mistake when there are children involved. This can harm your parental rights as it shows that you “abandoned” the home, could also impact your stake in the property, and more.
Along these lines, your spouse might raise accusations against you in order to try and get rid of you. Take all allegations seriously and be proactive in reaching out to a legal professional who can advise you on what steps to take.
Assume Your Spouse Has Spoken to an Attorney
If your spouse is the one who introduced the idea of getting divorced, you can safely assume that he/she has spoken to an attorney. It’s important that you move fast as well and retain your own legal counsel. Level the playing field by acknowledging that you are now on opposing sides of a legal process, even when cooperation is a possibility.
All in all, this advice is a good starting place for when your spouse says he/she wants a divorce. However, this info is only meant to be a general overview. Don’t delay in contacting a qualified legal professional to explore your options and formulate your next steps.
You can schedule a free initial consultation with the qualified family law attorneys at R & S Law Group by simply calling us at (949) 825-5245.