My Spouse Wants a Divorce. What Do I Do Now?

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Saying it’s difficult to hear your spouse ask for a divorce is an understatement. Divorce is often listed as one of the most stressful life situations, second only to dealing with the death of a spouse. Whether you knew this day was on the horizon or if it caught you by complete surprise, you must be prepared in how to deal with this life altering situation.  Some spouses are in denial when it first happens – which can lead to shock, grief, anger, and a range of other emotions. Even if you want out of the marriage, there may still be periods of grief and even doubt as to whether or not you made the right decision. Find the emotional help and support you need from professionals, family and friends. Look for support groups, which can be group meetings or online meetings. While you may feel alone or isolated, talk to others who have been in your shoes and have worked through it to find happiness again. Consider finding a good counselor to help you work through your emotions throughout this process.

In the midst of all your emotional stress, divorce also requires you to decide on many practical issues which will only make everything seem more stressful. Being prepared and knowing what to do can help minimize this stress. Gather all the financial documents you have access to or can get access to. Please see our previous article at If you have children, you both need to decide how you are going to talk to the children. This really should be a joint decision and both of you should be present for this conversation. Reassure your children how much you love them. Consider informing your child’s teacher and school counselor of this situation. For some children, counseling may be a good idea.

Meet with an attorney. Information is key. Find out from the beginning what you can do to help your case and what you need to avoid. The attorney should explain your options and help you decide on a plan of action. There are certain decisions and actions that can have negative impacts on your case. The laws differ from state to state, so even if you have friends that have previously divorced in another state, the process and your rights may be very different in North Carolina.

If you have questions or concerns relating to the topic of this article or any other divorce related legal issue, please reach out to us at 704-243-9693 or at

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