Sometimes in marriage you do not know what is going on in your spouse's mind. Although you think your small squabbles are insignificant, your spouse may believe there are major problems in your marriage and suddenly ask you for a divorce. This may take you by surprise, and you may not know exactly how to react.
If your spouse asks for a divorce from seemingly out of nowhere, follow these tips to get through your emotions and prepare for what is to come.
Although your natural reaction may be to become upset and scared, try to remain calm. You will feel hurt and angry, but you do not want to say something you do not mean, as this could have an impact on you later in the divorce process.
What you need to remember is that your spouse has likely thought about divorce for a long time and has accepted the idea. You need to take time to think about the idea of divorce and process what it means for you.
If you have any questions for your spouse, ask them calmly and without emotion, if possible. Also, take some time away for yourself to digest this sudden change in your life.
If you have children, your reaction is even more important. While your spouse can handle you coming apart, this is not the reaction you should allow your children to see. This news will have a major impact on them as it is, so you should try to remain as calm as you can for their sakes.
Get Support from Friends and Family
The support of those you love will be crucial at this time in your life. When you are blindsided by the idea of a divorce, you need a strong support system around you so you are able to figure out what your next steps will be.
Talk to your loved ones about how you feel about the divorce. Vent your frustrations to them if you feel the need to do so. If they offer assistance to you, whether it is a place to stay or help caring for your children, accept the help. You will feel much stronger in the end when you have a good support system in place.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself
Although your spouse may be a good person at heart, you never know what they are thinking or have been thinking about. Divorce often changes people and how they act, so you need to think about yourself at this time in case your spouse tries to take advantage of you.
One of the first things you should do is safeguard your finances. If you have any shared accounts, open your own separate accounts as soon as you can and forward your direct deposits to your new account. This is crucial if you believe that your spouse could take more out of your shared account than he or she should.
Next, you need to get your important papers together. Obtain and make copies of papers like your marriage license, any paperwork for jointly owned property, and your taxes. You also need to gather any information you have regarding investments or other assets you both own.
Once you get this information, store it in a safe location. Give it to a friend or loved one who you trust will not lose it or inadvertently give it to your spouse.
You also need to make sure that your children are in a good place. They will be upset by this news, so you need to keep their schedules consistent to prevent shock from sudden major changes in their lives. You also need to work out a temporary visitation schedule for both of you until you go through the custody process.
If you need help with an unexpected divorce, please contact Cartee &Lloyd Attorneys at Law.