What to Do When You Think Your Spouse Wants a Divorce

What to Do When You Think Your Spouse Wants a DivorceEvery couple has ups and downs, but sometimes serious or reoccurring issues can lead married couples to consider a divorce. If your spouse has become cold or distant and no longer seems interested in solving the issues in your relationship, it is possible he or she is thinking about asking for a divorce. He or she may have even mentioned divorce. When you suspect your spouse wants a divorce, it is important to take a few steps away from the situation to really evaluate what you want to do before acting. Consider your feelings about your marriage, the healthiest option for your family, and more practical aspects, such as potential division of assets and individual financial stability.

Before you do anything drastic, consider these key points if you think your spouse may want a divorce.

Take Action as Soon as You Suspect

Before your spouse asks for a divorce or formally begins the divorce process, take action as soon as you suspect he or she is thinking about a divorce. A firm action plan can help you get a better grasp of the situation, especially as emotions and stress levels are likely very high. Think about how you can approach your spouse about this issue, what you want to communicate, and what end-goal you are shooting for. Do you want to save your marriage? Do you want to continue with a divorce? Evaluate your needs, wishes, and goals, and make a plan to work towards them.

If you feel divorce is unavoidable, start planning for it

If you feel it’s best to move forward with a divorce, or feel that your spouse will not be willing to work on the relationship, you should make sure you are as prepared as possible.

Prepare yourself for what divorce means

Consider the legal, personal, and professional implications. For instance, if you and your spouse own a business together or have shared investments, this could mean a drastic change for your livelihood. Spouses who do not work but stay home with their children may have to consider returning to the workforce or adjusting his or her daily schedule. On a personal level, the relationships you have with shared friends or your spouse’s family will change, and if you have children, they will be impacted most of all. Consider these big changes and prepare for them to the best of your ability.

Get legal advice as soon as possible

Divorce is a legal process. You will have to make many legal decisions as soon as the divorce process begins, so make sure you have someone on your side who can help you through, step by step. Hire a divorce lawyer you can trust and whose skills and experience are appropriate for your situation. Once you hire a lawyer to represent your interests, he or she should tell you what you can do at this point to prepare for the divorce and to protect yourself.

Watch our co-founder, Rita Irvin, discuss when it’s the right time to meet with a divorce attorney.

Take measures to protect yourself

You should take immediate action to protect your credit, finances, and assets. Break away from any shared bank accounts or credit cards and open your own private accounts to use from here forward. If your relationship has become unhealthy, your spouse could use his or her access to your finances to take your money away from you or to damage your credit score. The best bet is to secure your individual assets by starting your own independent accounts until your property can be legally divided.

It is also helpful, especially if you are not the person who typically handles the family’s finances, to begin collecting important details about your financial situation that you may need later, like an inventory of assets and debts, account information, health insurance information, etc.

If you want to try to resolve your issues

Is your marriage worth saving? Make sure you really think about how you feel about your spouse and if the issues you are facing are worth solving. If you think you can resolve the problems in your relationship, perhaps suggest you and your spouse seek counseling together and try to work it out.

If your spouse refuses to work on issues

In the event that you propose counseling and your spouse refuses, do not beg them to stay. If you have reached a point where your spouse no longer wishes to participate in the marriage or he or she has no desire to repair the damage between you two, it may be better to focus on accepting the situation and find a healthy way to move forward.

If your problems are not resolvable and you don’t wish to give the marriage another chance, perhaps you should look to the next step in seeking a separation or divorce.

If your spouse agrees to try and save your marriage

For spouses who decide they wish to remain married, do what you can to save your relationship. Pursue your spouse, seek counseling, make the necessary changes, and commit to them. Be open and communicative, and spend time with one another. Create goals together for a successful marriage and do your part to make them a reality. However, if you ever feel that saving the marriage is no longer something that you both want, you should start thinking about what you will do to protect yourself and your family as it becomes more likely that you will be getting divorced.

Divorce is a big step, and our firm understands how difficult the divorce process can be on couples and families. If you are considering a divorce or separation and need legal advice, our lawyers are glad to help you with any concerns.
Categories: Divorce, Vancouver, Portland