My Partner Asked for a Divorce: Where Do I Begin?

Each month in our divorce workshop we ask the participants about their general questions. One of the most common questions: where do I begin? Often, this comes from people whose partner asked for a divorce. If that is you, here are some of the first steps:

  1. The first step is to agree to a separation. Even if you are convinced you can change his or her mind over time, it’s best to separate for now. Begging and trying to squeeze more tightly will only make the situation worse.   
  2. Next, find an attorney. Finding someone with whom you are comfortable is important. Here are some tips for the search. Be frank with him or her about your situation so he/she can offer specific advice.
  3. The next step is to make a short-term plan. Which partner is moving out for the required year of separation? During that time, how will you handle the shared bills? Where will the children stay? What about the pets? Ask your attorney about whether moving out will affect your claims to the house.
  4. Take care of yourself. People often shy away from therapy, but during times of massive change and grief, therapy can make a difference. If you do not want to talk to a therapist, consider attending a divorce group of some kind. Your friends and family can only help you so much with this process.
  5. Start thinking long-term. Women cannot assume they will receive alimony. What possibilities are now open to you? What doors have closed?  

What questions do you have about divorce? Join us each month for our workshop to ask a therapist, an attorney, and a financial adviser.  

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