You thought that you and your spouse were going to go the distance. Sure, your relationship had its issues, but that’s true in most marriages. Then, when you least expected it, your beloved spouse hit you with divorce papers. Now, you don’t know what to think. Could an affair be to blame? Or has your spouse been dissatisfied for years without letting you know? In the midst of all these questions, you need to take care of both your mental health and your legal affairs — these steps will help you get started:
- Don’t assume you can change your spouse’s mind.
You can try to convince your spouse to return, but in the meantime, it’s in your best interest to seek legal counsel. This will ensure that you’re fully prepared, should your spouse choose to proceed with the divorce.
- Be careful with those adultery accusations.
It’s tempting to think that your divorce was prompted by adultery, but sometimes, announcements that seem sudden to one person have been in the works for months, even years.
- Inform your lawyer of all suspicions.
Do not shout accusations of infidelity at your ex or send threatening text messages. Instead, tell your lawyer of your suspicions and let him or her determine how to proceed. Your approach will differ based on whether you live in Maryland (where at-fault divorces are commonly sparked by adultery) or Washington, D.C. (where grounds for divorce are limited).
- Get your finances in order.
A sudden divorce could be followed by the sudden disappearance of big money. Take immediate steps to protect your assets. Your specific approach will vary based on your situation, so contact a lawyer as soon as possible to determine how best to proceed.
- Keep quiet on social media.
Social media is used as evidence in a shocking number of divorce cases — and if you suspect adultery, your spouse’s account could be a gold mine. Take screenshots of anything suspicious, but do not air your suspicions publicly. The less you say about your divorce on social media, the less can be used against you.
- Take advantage of new opportunities.
An unexpected divorce can quickly lead to depression for the spouse who wanted the marriage to continue. It’s fine to mourn the loss of your marriage, but try to also think of the new opportunities that you couldn’t pursue before. From travel to doubling down with your career, this could be the start of an exciting new chapter in your life.
No matter who initiated your divorce or on what grounds, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel from a Washington, D.C. lawyer you can trust. Get in touch with DiPietro Family Law to learn more about the divorce process and your options.