Divorce happens, and it happens to a lot of people every year. But the commonality of divorce does not make it any less dramatic and life-changing. If your spouse has just asked for a divorce, and you are now in a state of shock, then please read this quick rundown of what to do now to keep your chin up and your feet on the ground.
Seven things to do after your spouse asks for divorce:
- Breathe deeply: The first thing you need to do after being told by your spouse that they want a divorce is to calm yourself and remove the shock of the situation. Breathe deeply and steadily. Tell yourself that you will be okay. You cannot expect to make the right decisions going forward if you are not in the right mindset, so you have to find a way to de-stress to some degree.
- Find a shoulder to lean on: Your trusted friends and family members will be invaluable sources of moral support in the days, weeks, months, and maybe even years ahead of you. Accept their support and care as they offer it. You might need to remind yourself that it is okay to show vulnerability. Many people also talk to a therapist for the first time shortly after receiving a divorce filing.
- Expect unusual moods: A divorce is an unusual departure from the day-to-day life you had been living before, so do not be surprised if you experience unusual moods because of it. Some days, you might feel depressed and hate the thought of going outside. Other days, you could spend hours crying. Or you could have days where you are energetic, motivated, and ready to take on the world. Mood swings commonly following world-shaping experiences, but they also tend to mellow out as time passes.
- Never mind the details: You will probably want to know more and more from your spouse about why they want to divorce you. Try to resist the urge to dig for details. Odds are high that anything you find out will just hurt you again. Even if they kindly divulge details behind their decision, your own imagination will probably misconstrue them into something more painful. Whatever your spouse said when they first told you that they wanted to divorce is likely all they wanted to say, at least for a while.
- Demand and give space: Physical and emotional boundaries are going to be important to you in the coming weeks, and they will be for your soon-to-be ex, too. When you need some time alone, do not be afraid to take it. If one of you has left your shared abode until the divorce finalizes, then you might want to plan your days in a way that helps you avoid random encounters. For example, if your spouse loves to shop at a certain market each Sunday morning, then plan your grocery shopping on Saturdays.
- Take stock of what you have: Learning that your spouse wants to end your marriage can feel like someone is taking a big chunk out of your life and your self-worth. Taking stock of what you have now and what you will still have after your divorce concludes can remind you that your life will continue. Eventually, life will get better because you will no longer be legally tied to someone who wanted to be away from you.
- Call a divorce attorney: When you have a moment of tranquility, you should look up local, highly-rated divorce lawyers who can help you with the legal steps that come next. Allowing your spouse to plan your divorce without any input or feedback can be disastrous, especially if they try to disadvantage you on issues of marital property or custody rights.
For compassionate and experienced divorce representation in Colorado, choose Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. People throughout the state know us for our genuine approach to casework that protects your best interests and shows respect for your emotions. Call (720) 491-3117 to get more information.