What Do I Do After My Spouse Asks for a Divorce?

Whether you have been expecting it or it comes seemingly from out of nowhere, having your spouse ask for a divorce can stop you dead in your tracks. You may freeze, you may be overwhelmed, and you may not know what to even do next. While some couples may be able to work through issues, others cannot. If your spouse has asked for a divorce, no matter what the reasons may or may not be, here are some steps to take in order to protect yourself, your family, and the best interests of you and your loved ones.

What Do I Do After My Spouse Asks for a Divorce?

The first step, and an important one that can set the entire tone for the often long road ahead, is to stay calm. Of course, the prospect of your marriage coming to an end most likely elicits some strong feelings and emotions, to say the least, but being overcome by these things is likely not going to serve you or your best interests. There is a great risk of saying things you cannot take back and will later greatly regret. Remain as collected as possible and focus on the concrete steps you can and should be taking right now.

Should your spouse want a divorce, but you want to try and work things out, talk to your spouse about the potential of seeking marriage counseling. Ask your spouse when he or she is planning to file for divorce, or if it has already been done. Possibly ask that you go to a counseling session, or a few of them, prior to any legal filings being made.

You may be headed for an amicable divorce or a contentious one. Either way, it is important to not only protect your best interests but to understand that even the most amicable of divorces have the potential to turn contentious on a dime. Before making any kind of agreement on issues central to the divorce process, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, or property division, consult with a qualified family law attorney. These are things that will have a profound impact on your post-divorce life. Talk to the attorney about any arrangements you are considering and the potential implications of them.

Avoid falling victim to any threats thrown at you by your spouse. When emotions run high, spouses may throw threats around concerning denying you access to your children and ruining you financially. Do not play into this hand. If the threats concern you, talk to your attorney about them and potential worst-case scenarios. It will likely put your mind at ease and keep you focused on the reality of the situation and not your spouse’s version of the events unfolding.

Additionally, take concerted steps to protect and preserve your financial wellbeing. This means frequently checking your credit reports. Some spouses will try to run up large bills while the divorce is pending or in the near future. Furthermore, considering protecting your savings by doing things like asking financial institutions where you hold joint assets with your spouse to require two signatures for any withdrawals.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

If your spouse has asked for a divorce, do not hesitate to contact the trusted family law attorneys at Orlando Family Team. We will take immediate steps to work with you regarding protecting your best interests. Contact us today.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.