Five Things to Do After Your Spouse Asks for a Divorce

Divorce. Asian couples are desperate and disappointed after wife asks husband for a divorce. Visual concept for legal blog on divorce.

Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging situations you will ever face in your lifetime. If your spouse asks for a divorce, you might be experiencing many different emotions — and wondering what to do next. Although it’s easier said than done, the most important thing you can do is remain calm and begin to prepare for the changes ahead. Here are five things you should do if you’ve been served with divorce papers:

1. Practice Self-Care

With the stress you may be feeling when your marriage is ending, it can be all too easy to forget about practicing self-care. After your spouse asks for a divorce, it’s essential to look after your physical, mental, and emotional health. Be sure to eat healthy, take the time to exercise, get enough sleep, engage in hobbies you enjoy, and treat yourself kindly. By practicing a self-care routine, you can remain focused and be better prepared to navigate the challenges you will encounter during this difficult period.

2. Protect Your Finances

When you’re faced with divorce, it’s crucial to protect your finances. While many married couples share savings and checking accounts, you should open a bank account in your own name as soon as possible. You should also keep an eye on your credit report to make sure your spouse hasn’t added any additional debt under your name — and take steps to begin building your credit if necessary.

In addition, it’s vital to create a list of the assets that were attained by either spouse during the marriage, as well as what property was acquired before the marriage. An experienced divorce attorney can help ensure each type of property is classified correctly. Protecting your finances also requires being aware of any debts you’ve incurred as a married couple and individually.

3. Get the Emotional Support You Need

Ending a marriage isn’t easy, and it’s critical to have the emotional support you need as you go through the divorce process. Whether you have friends and family you can rely on — or you join a support group in the community — being able to talk about your feelings can help you deal with the wide range of emotions you are experiencing. You might also consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who can provide you with the tools you need to manage your emotions as you move forward into the next chapter of your life.

4. Take the Time to Understand Your Legal Rights and Options

Marriage is an economic partnership just as much as it is an emotional one. If you are parting ways with your spouse, you must take the time to understand your legal rights. Significantly, Utah is an equitable distribution state. This means that property is not necessarily divided equally, but in a way a judge would deem to be fair. While every divorce is unique, a skillful attorney can best advise you regarding your rights, based on your specific circumstances.

It’s also important to understand your options to divorce — a lengthy and drawn-out courtroom battle isn’t the only way to end a marriage. There are many different options when it comes to divorce that you should know about, apart from litigation. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your situation, you might consider mediation, the collaborative process, or another form of alternative dispute resolution. These methods can help you save the time and money that would otherwise be spent on litigation — and help you reach an amicable settlement agreement that works for you, your former spouse, and your children.

5. Refrain from Posting on Social Media

After your spouse asks for a divorce, it’s best to refrain from venting or posting anything about your situation on social media. Even if you think you have adjusted your settings to private, your posts can still be discovered by your spouse’s attorney — and any photos or comments could potentially be used against you in your case. Specifically, you don’t want to post anything that could impact your child custody, alimony, or property division matters. You should also tell friends and family not to post anything that could be viewed as disparaging or tag you in party pictures that could raise questions regarding your parental fitness.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney

If your spouse asks for a divorce, you don’t have to go through the process alone. A knowledgeable divorce attorney can protect your rights every step of the way and help ensure the best possible outcome is achieved in your case. Based in Salt Lake City, BartonWood provides compassionate counsel and dedicated representation to clients for a wide variety of matrimonial and family law issues. To learn more about our legal services and how we can assist you with your divorce matter, call 801-326-8300 or contact us to schedule a consultation.