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If your spouse asks for a divorce, it’s time to make a plan

You were eating dinner when your spouse suddenly stood up and asked for a divorce. It looked like they’d been thinking about it for a while, and they handed the paperwork straight to you. You were surprised, because everything seemed okay.

Now that your spouse asked for a divorce, you may not be sure of what steps to take next. It’s emotionally traumatizing to have to think about the situation at all, let alone going to talk to your attorney about it. So, what should you do?

Take a minute to calm your mind

To start with, take some time to calm down and make a plan. This is traumatic, and you should take time to talk to others about your feelings. Try to be respectful of your spouse.

When you feel in a better frame of mind the next day, it’s time to start making an effort to collect financial documents and important paperwork. You may want to take photographs of major assets that you and your spouse share. You may even want to ask your spouse about accounts they have access to that you don’t. If you know about them, at the very least, then your attorney can ask for copies.

After you get all the financial paperwork together, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your attorney to discuss the next steps. You may want to talk about child custody plans, a settlement, spousal support or other factors that will play a role in your divorce and the life you live after it’s finalized in court.