Learning that your spouse wants a divorce can be difficult. Whether this was something you anticipated or it came as a surprise, you may feel worried, shocked, or stressed and experience a range of other emotions. In challenging times, figuring out your next steps and understanding your rights and legal obligations can be tricky. We have written this blog to offer tips on what you can do if your spouse has asked for a divorce. We hope the information allows you to manage your circumstances more effectively.
Next Steps After Your Spouse Has Asked for a Divorce
A divorce can affect several aspects of your life, as your family dynamics and financial situation will change. Recognizing the impacts on your future, you may be overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. Every person’s situation is unique, and your course will differ from someone else’s.
That said, it’s important to take care of your mental and physical health, consider what you want for your future, and fulfill your legal obligations during this time. Below are some things you can do to mitigate some of the impacts of the divorce and navigate this complex process.
Focus on Your Well-Being
You’ll likely feel a lot of emotions after your spouse tells you that they want a divorce. Take time for yourself to process the information. Consider what it means for you and your future.
At the same time, establish a support system. Reach out to trusted friends or family to talk about your situation. Discussing difficulties with others can help you deal with them and alleviate some stress.
Working through your feelings can also allow you to approach the situation with a clear mind and fresh perspective. This can help as you try to find ways to keep your marriage intact or prepare for the big decisions you must make during your divorce.
Know Your Legal Obligations
If your spouse is not interested in reconciling and has filed divorce papers with the court, you must take specific actions to ensure that your voice is heard. After your spouse has submitted the petition, usually they must have you served with a copy of the documents, unless you sign an entry of appearance.
Usually once you receive the divorce papers, you have 30 days to file an answer. However you should immediately obtain the advice of an attorney as to when the answer is due. Your response in part tells your side of the story and lets the court know how you want matters resolved. If you fail to meet the deadline, your divorce may be decided by default judgment, meaning the court may award your spouse a remedy that is favorable to your spouse.
Prepare for Life Changes
During and after the divorce proceedings, your life will be substantially altered. Plan for changes in your living and financial situations. Ensure that your finances are in order by developing a budget accounting for your necessities. Ask yourself what you want your future to look like and what training, education, or resources you need to bring it to fruition.
Consider What You Want
You and your spouse must settle various issues in your divorce. If you have children, you must decide on custody, visitation, and support. You may also have to determine whether one of you will receive maintenance and who gets what property.
Although your divorce might not resolve as you plan, knowing what you are willing to accept and compromise on can help as you attempt to reach agreements with your spouse.
Consider Your Children’s Welfare
If you have children, recognize that this can be a difficult time for them also. Try to avoid exposing them to disputes between you and your spouse. To the extent possible, attempt to be amicable with your spouse when your children are present.
Be available for your children and be open to talk with them about what is going on, provided that you feel comfortable doing so and the topic is appropriate.
Contact an Attorney
You may be going through a lot and have much to consider after your spouse asks for a divorce. You’ll have quite a bit to take on, but you don’t have to handle everything alone. With more than 40 years of combined experience, Galmiche Law Firm, P.C. can assist with your case, explaining your rights and options, and helping find solutions to protect your best interests.