My Spouse Just Asked for a Divorce – What Now?
The minute your spouse asks for a divorce, things change. Your marriage may be moving in a direction you never anticipated, or perhaps you knew it was coming. Regardless of how prepared you may be for this moment, it can be overwhelming once it happens.
The initial thought of divorce will likely bring out a lot of emotions – all of which are important to feel. However, it’s also important for your future wellbeing to begin taking steps to emotionally and financially prepare soon after having the conversation with your spouse.
First, give yourself time to process your first wave of emotions. If your spouse is adamant in the decision to divorce and is not interested in trying to make things work, you’ll want to have a clear and rational mindset so you can make the big decisions headed your way.
Some people may find that it helps to talk to someone – a therapist, a close friend to confide in, or a parent. Others may find it more helpful to use resources like books or online forums to process what’s happened and what’s to come.
Rather than dwell on the negatives of the situation, try to find a few positives and begin thinking about a future life that will be fulfilling. To get started, ask yourself the following questions:
- Where do I see myself in the future?
- What will it take for me to get there?
- How can I best care for myself in the meantime?
There are also a few steps of financial preparation that you should begin soon after your spouse proposes divorce.
You should begin by gathering all of your relevant financial information. From assets and debts to investments and loans, you’ll need it all. Next, you may want to take steps to protect your finances, like closing joint bank accounts and regularly monitoring your credit report.
You may decide to work with a financial advisor or a CPA to determine which assets are yours and begin organizing your financial assets before getting into the divorce process.
Deciding Next Steps Together
While some of the emotional and financial preparation is best done on your own, there are certain aspects that you’ll need to work together on as you prepare for divorce and big questions you’ll need to answer. Litigation or alternative dispute resolution methods? Mediator or attorney?
The most important next step is deciding which type of divorce you will get. There’s the traditional divorce process, which often leads to lengthy litigation in court. There are also the alternative options of mediation and collaborative divorce, which can provide a more amicable process and aim for a mutually beneficial settlement.
You may need to warm your spouse up to the idea of these alternative methods, but if you and your spouse can agree to keep things respectful and remain cooperative through the process, either of these alternatives can be a great way to save money, save time, and reach a more agreeable end.
To learn more about divorce mediation or collaborative divorce, contact the attorneys at Natalie Baird Mediations & Collaborative Divorce and discover which option is best for you.