When Divorce Sneaks Up On You
Happily married…how many people can claim that? Sure, your relationship isn’t dripping with excitement or spontaneity these days, but you’re comfortable. You complement one another, and you’ve managed to get a bead on the American dream. Life is good—a couple of kids, a two-bedroom home with a little yard for the dog, and a couple of weeks in Disneyland every summer. What could be better? It seems your spouse has wondered exactly that, and out of the blue, you’ve had divorce papers sprung on you. What now?
For Starters, Just Breathe
It was a sucker punch, for sure. You are reeling, but you need to settle down and face facts. Your spouse has very clearly declared a desire to move on without you. What do you want? Are you up for a battle to retain your marriage? If so, do you really think there’s any chance of getting your spouse to cooperate in the effort? You need to honestly weigh the situation to see if divorce is in the cards. If it’s going to happen, now’s the time to get prepared for what’s coming.
You Need an Experienced Local Lawyer
You want a straight shooter who will help you through the steps ahead—someone who knows Springfield and can navigate the legal challenges ahead. Property division, custody and visitation, and support issues are on the table.
Organize Your Finances
Your spouse is a step or two ahead of you by now. Preparations have been under way for a matter of weeks or months, and you need to catch up. Start by gathering every bit of information you can get about your financial status, from tax returns to current debt and assets, insurance, and even frequent flier miles. If you have joint accounts, close them so the money can be evenly divided. That’s going to require cooperation from your spouse, so get started on it soon.
Make No Promises
As you and your spouse start talking about separate futures, you may feel pressure to agree to requests before your attorney has a chance to weigh it with you. Never, ever commit to anything without running it by your attorney first. The perspective of someone knowledgeable about the legalities of divorce can be very enlightening moving forward. In some cases, discussions with your spouse may become heated as emotions run high. That might be the time to limit such conversations to times that your attorney can be present, or to direct your attorney to handle all negotiations on your behalf.
Get it Right
Getting blind-sighted with divorce plans can be extremely difficult. At Courtney & Mills, our experienced Springfield divorce attorneys are prepared to assist you during this difficult time. We commit to listening to you and moving toward your goals. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.