It is normal for couples to fight, but when the only time you and your spouse communicate is to fight, it could be a sign that the relationship is not working. Eventually, one spouse may get fed up and begin threatening his or her partner with divorce. Often the spouse who threatens divorce is the one who is more financially independent and those threats are a way to hurt the other spouse. If your spouse threatens divorce, it is hard not to feel hurt, but it is important that you take steps to protect yourself and any children who are dependent on you for their care.
Document the Threat
If at all possible, document the fact that your spouse has started threatening you with divorce. Today a lot of couples use technology to communicate, making it easier to capture and save any threatening or abusive conversations. Save any text messages, emails, or messages posted on social media and show them to your attorney. Documenting threats or other abusive language helps your attorney and the court system differentiate between exaggerations and credible problems that need to be addressed.
Gather Financial Paperwork
Take advantage of any time that you have available to gather paperwork associated with your household’s finances. This includes copies of tax returns, pay stubs, credit card statements, and bank statements. If your spouse is self-employed or a business owner, be sure to get copies of all documents pertaining to the business, as well. Even though you and your spouse will be required to complete a financial affidavit during the divorce proceedings it is best to have your own, unaltered copies of all the documents. Some spouses attempt to hide assets, and while very few get away with it, their attempt could slow your divorce progress.
Stay in the Marital Home
Staying under the same roof as someone who has threatened to leave you is hard, but it is necessary if you want to retain your rights to a marital home. One of the biggest mistakes estranged couples make is moving out of their home. Leaving gives the impression that remaining in the house is not important to you and can make any arguments that you need to live in the house difficult to support. If you leave children behind in order to move out, you will have a difficult time proving that staying with your children is important to you.
Retain an Attorney
Regardless of whether or not your spouse typically follows through on his or her threats, the minute a threat mentioning divorce is made, you should retain a divorce attorney. Having an attorney available to advise you during each stage of your divorce will help you avoid making critical, and avoidable, mistakes that could hurt your case. The team at Vayman & Teitelbaum understand the importance of properly preparing for a divorce. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation at one of our Atlanta metro area offices so that we can begin providing you with the legal advice you deserve today.