Last month you were poring over summer holiday brochures and looking at moving to a larger house. Now your spouse tells you they want a divorce.
If it is a shock, your first question is likely to be, “Why?” Yet, if your spouse is dead set on ending the marriage, that no longer matters. If you sense their decision is final, you do not have time to waste replaying the highlights and lowlights of your marriage. You need to get planning because your spouse may be well ahead of you, even if they only just mentioned it.
Here are some things that can help:
You need time to think, and it is much harder to do so if you are talking. Once your spouse tells you, find some space to think things over.
Instant reactions are not always the best. Accusing them of having an affair or calling them names could make them more hostile toward you and make negotiations more challenging. They may also tell the divorce judge about any violent outbursts to paint you in a bad light.
Get the facts
Unless you have previously divorced, there is likely a lot you do not understand. Your head may be swimming with awful possibilities. For example, they’re going to take everything or stop me from seeing the kids. Talking to someone familiar with divorce laws will help you realize neither of these things is likely to happen.
Focus on the future
You cannot go back in time and change things. All you can do is focus on the future. Doing that makes you more likely to get an outcome that sets you in good stead for the future.