“My Wife Wants a Divorce” — Tips from A Fathers Rights Lawyer
What do you do when your wife tells you she wants a divorce? Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer to that question nor a simple step by step manual to follow. Every marriage ends as a result of a unique set of circumstances and every person who decides to end their marriage arrives at that decision via a unique path. You may, however, find the following tips from a fathers rights lawyer regarding what you should and should not do to be helpful if your wife recently informed you that she wants a divorce.
Take a deep breath before responding. This is meant both literally and metaphorically. Do take an actual breath and think before saying anything in response. You may also need to physically put some space between you and your wife so you can process what she said before deciding what your overall response should be.
Ask your self how you feel about a divorce. Most of the time the news that a spouse wants to end a marriage is not completely unexpected. Typically, there has been clear discord leading up to that point that has caused both parties to at least consider how they feel about the marriage. Whether your wife’s request for a divorce was expected, or comes as a complete surprise, now is the time to really think about how you feel about the subject before you respond or take action.
Can the marriage be saved? Now is also the time to decide if the marriage can be saved. Once the divorce process gets going it can take on a life of its own and often becomes very acrimonious. The best time to try and save a marriage is before the divorce train starts rolling down the track.
Consult with a divorce attorney. Even if you are not completely sure that divorce is imminent and your wife has yet to file the divorce, now is the time to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and that you don’t do anything that could be harmful if your divorce ends up in litigation.
Do not sell, or otherwise dispose of, assets. One of the most common knee-jerk reactions people have when the issue of divorce comes up is to drain the bank account, move or sell property, or otherwise hoard or hide assets. Doing so can come back to haunt you down the road if you do end up in divorce court and will certainly not paint you in a favorable light in front of a judge.
Do not remove your wife as a beneficiary or dependent. Another common emotional reaction to a spouse’s announcement that they want a divorce is to remove them as a beneficiary on retirement accounts or as a dependent for insurance purposes. In most cases, you cannot do this while a divorce is pending. Certainly do not do it without getting the okay from your attorney.
Do not make any major career moves. Divorce means the division of marital assets and debts and support and maintenance for minor children if there are any. A major job change right now can muddy those waters. If you will make considerably more money at a new job you could end up being responsible for more of the marital debts and be ordered to pay more in support. If you will make considerably less, the judge might conclude you took the new job in an attempt to reduce your liability for marital debts and/or reduce any support you are ordered to pay.
Start documenting everything. Hopefully, your divorce will be amicable; however, because there is no way to be certain of that it is always best to protect yourself from the outset. One simple way to do that is to document everything. Money given to your wife once you are separated should be via check or money order. Communication should be via email or otherwise in writing. Keep a calendar and mark when you exercise parenting time with the children. In short, document everything.
Contact a Fathers Rights Lawyer
If you have additional questions or concerns about your rights as a father, contact an experienced Fort Worth fathers rights lawyer at The Law Office of Jon R. Boyd to schedule your appointment today.