Even if your marriage isn’t perfect, you may have no reason to believe that divorce is in the cards. But then something happens. Your spouse comes to you and says that they want to move on.
If you’re blindsided by divorce, it’s critical that you take a deep breath, remain calm and consider how it will impact your future. It is easier said than done, but this approach will help you prevent mistakes and position yourself for future success.
Here are some of the most important steps to take should you find yourself in this position:
- Have an honest conversation: Your spouse doesn’t have to comply, but you have the right to ask for more information, such as why they want to divorce and if they’ll consider other options, such as therapy. Even if the conversation goes nowhere, it will help you to better understand their intentions.
- Turn your attention to the divorce process: Once you’re sure that your spouse is filing for divorce, focus on the details of the process and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights. For example, it’s a good time to create a property division checklist and learn more about child custody and child support laws. The divorce process is complex, so the sooner you begin to gather information and guidance the better off you’ll be.
- Start creating a better future: It’s easy to dwell on the past, but that won’t get you anywhere. Turn your attention toward the future, such as by creating a post-divorce budget, deciding on where you’ll live and taking steps to provide a stable environment for your children (if applicable). With your spouse out of the picture, the future is yours to own. You can build the life you’re dreaming of.
Even if you’re blindsided by divorce, don’t let the surprise of the circumstances linger. Come to grips with where things stand, as this allows you to protect your legal rights and move through the process in the appropriate manner.
There’s nothing simple about the divorce process, but you have what it takes to manage all the details that are most important to you and your future.