Your Spouse Just Told You He/She Wants a Divorce: 3 Things to Do Now

You are in shock.  You finished dinner, put the kids to bed and just as you are falling asleep, your spouse comes to the bedroom and says, “I am not happy; I want a divorce.”  You spend hours talking about this pronouncement– trying to figure out what went wrong and if your marriage can be fixed – only to realize, it’s over.  Now what?  Here are three things to do now (besides seeking legal advice immediately):

  1. Agree with your spouse that you will jointly tell the kids about the decision to divorce.  If there is one thing both spouses hopefully can agree upon, it should be to make this as easy as possible for the children and let the children see that their parents are still united in their love for and parenting of them.
  2. Inventory all assets and liabilities.  This does not mean just the stuff in the house; it includes all bank accounts, mortgages, credit cards, etc.  Obtain statement copies or information on all account numbers and current balances.  As for the household furniture and furnishings, take pictures or a video of the contents of the house.
  3. Stop Using Social Media.  It does not matter whether your social media is public or private; you should stop posting to social media because you never know who sees what and says what about your posts.  While it may seem innocuous when you post a picture of yourself as you are having drinks with friends….it’s all fine until it’s not, if your soon-to-be ex-spouse claims the picture shows you have a drinking problem or that you were out drinking when you were supposed to be taking care of the children.  You cannot predict if your divorce will end up being contentious, and once you know, it may be too late to undo the damage a social media post might do to your case.

Please keep in mind, every case is different and some cases require other immediate actions.  This can only be determined through legal advice obtained from a family law attorney. Again, seek that advice as soon as you know you are divorcing.