What to Do When Your Spouse Wants a Divorce

Unhappy couple having argument at home: Visual concept for divorce blog titled

Whether you saw it coming or not, you might be wondering what to do when your spouse wants a divorce. If your marriage had been struggling for some time, you might already have been preparing to part ways. However, a spouse can sometimes be blindsided and left trying to figure out what their next steps should be. There are a number of legal, financial, practical, and emotional considerations to keep in mind — and how you respond in the days ahead can have a significant impact on how your case proceeds.

Here are eight tips to help you get through the days, weeks, and months after your spouse requests to end the marriage:

1. Take a Deep Breath

Although it’s easier said than done, when you find out your spouse wants a divorce, take a deep breath. It’s not unusual to have strong emotions — but acting out can do more harm than good. Divorce can leave you feeling confused, overwhelmed, sad, angry, frustrated, and scared. Take the time you need to process your emotions in a healthy manner.

2. Get the Emotional Support You Need

Even when spouses agree to part ways, divorce is hard, and you shouldn’t have to go through it alone. It’s essential to get the emotional support you need. Whether you seek therapy or surround yourself with caring friends and family, it’s crucial to have someone with whom you can discuss your feelings. You might also consider finding a divorce recovery group in your community to connect with others who have had similar experiences.

3. Refrain from Venting on Social Media

While it can be healthy to vent to your family and trusted friends, refrain from taking to social media to gossip about your soon-to-be ex-spouse. These posts can be used against you in court and impact various aspects of your case. Even if you think you have adjusted the privacy settings for your posts, it doesn’t mean your spouse’s attorney won’t be able to obtain them during the discovery process. You should also refrain from posting anything that could be misconstrued by the other side and potentially affect your custody case or property distribution.

4. Consider Your Options

Litigation isn’t the only way to divorce and it’s important to consider what options are available based on the facts of your case. Mediation and the collaborative process can offer confidential and low conflict methods to divorce — they can also help to save time and money that would otherwise be spent in the courtroom. It’s best to discuss your options with an experienced divorce attorney who can advise you regarding the course of action best for your case.

5. Get Organized

The dissolution process requires a significant amount of paperwork. When you learn that your spouse wants a divorce, you will need to take an inventory of your property, get your financial documents organized, and create a new budget for yourself. Your attorney will need to review your financial documentation to get an idea of your economic situation — and help determine your marital property rights.

6. Put Your Children First

One of the most important things you can do when your spouse asks for a divorce is to put your children first. While you should let your children know that there will be some changes ahead, they need emotional stability as you go through the dissolution process. It’s critical not to use your children as pawns or messengers. Communicate with your spouse directly on any issues that affect the children and work to reach a custody arrangement that puts their best interests at the forefront.

7. Practice Self-Care

When you’re going through a divorce, you need to make self-care a priority. Regular exercise, eating healthy, and spending time with loved ones are some of the most basic things you can do to help you move forward. You might also make changes to your environment, take up a new hobby, visit a spa, meditate, or watch a movie to take your mind off the stress that comes with divorce.

8. Consult with a Divorce Attorney

Among the first things you should do when your spouse asks for a divorce is seek legal counsel. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the process from start to finish and protect your legal rights every step of the way. They can also help to take the burden off your shoulders while you manage the emotional stress that often comes with dissolution proceedings.

Contact an Experienced Missouri Divorce Attorney

If you are wondering what to do when your spouse wants a divorce, it’s best to discuss your matter with a skillful attorney. Divorce and family law attorney Mark A. Wortman provides compassionate counsel and reliable representation to clients in the greater Kansas City, Missouri area for divorce and a wide variety of family law matters. To schedule a confidential consultation to learn how he can help, please contact him today online or by calling (816) 523-6100.

Categories: Divorce