Even if divorce has previously been discussed, or a spouse has threatened to leave during an argument, realizing that your spouse has initiated the legal divorce process is often a shock. Under the best of circumstances, divorce is an emotional roller coaster and being served with papers or contacted by an attorney when one least expects it can make a bad situation worse. While there is no one way to handle the first stages of a marriage’s end, there are some tips for coping with a divorce that was just initiated that can guide you through the early days of the process.
Do Not Ignore the Situation
The first instinct many adults have after being notified about a divorce is to ignore the situation. There are several reasons that an adult may fail to act with a few common factors being:
- Anger or feigned indifference;
- Fear or stress about the future;
- Refusal to believe that their spouse is serious about following through with a divorce.
It is true that some adults decide to abandon divorce proceedings, but that happens rarely, making it unwise to ignore any divorce filing that is completed. Regardless of how you feel about getting a divorce, it is important that you acknowledge the proceedings and talk to an attorney about protecting your rights or property throughout the process. Even if your primary desire is to reconcile, it is unwise to contact your spouse’s attorney directly or do nothing in the hopes that the situation will resolve itself.
Mediation can serve the dual purposes of helping a couple resolve their differences in order to save the marriage or help a couple come to an agreement regarding property division and other issues quickly. Suggesting that you and your spouse attend mediation together allows you and your spouse to discuss your goals while facilitating healthy communication. Mediation can occur either with your attorneys present or with only you and your spouse talking to the mediator.
Curiosity is natural, especially if a person is not sure why his or her spouse wants a divorce or does not believe the spouse’s reasons for initiating the divorce. While it is necessary to discuss certain aspects of your spouse’s personal life that relates to children, appointments necessary for facilitating divorce, or their financial life, if you are still sharing expenses, there are boundaries. No matter how tempting it is, do not start going through your spouse’s social media profiles, telephones, emails, or any other personal information to which you have access. If your activities are discovered, not only will it make your spouse extremely uncomfortable, it could negatively impact your divorce or lead to additional trouble if you crossed too many lines.
Seek Solid Legal Advice
One of the best things that you can do after a divorce is initiated is contact a divorce attorney immediately. An attorney can act on your behalf while you mentally and emotionally adjust to the dissolution of your marriage. The team at Vayman & Teitelbaum are aware of how devastating divorce is and we work hard to reduce your stress by providing the legal advice you need. If you have recently been served or believe your spouse is filing soon contact us today. We are available at our four Atlanta area offices to meet with you during an initial consultation to discuss your case and your legal needs.