Talking to Your Spouse Before You Start Your Divorce
Many people want to start this process in secret, and there are many different reasons for that. Some people are afraid to broach the topic. Some people think they can gain an advantage if they get the information first and then file for divorce first. We have found, however, that discussing the topic with your spouse before taking any action in your case will give you the very best chance to have a healthy divorce that doesn’t ruin your family and drain your finances.
Why Pre-Planning Matters
Today there are many incredible alternatives to a litigated divorce. The two most effective are divorce mediation and collaborative divorce. But both of those things take some cooperation and discussion on the part of the people getting divorced. Without some advanced planning, these options may be completely lost to you.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Talk About
It is only necessary that you talk to your spouse to lay the groundwork about what you want the process to look like. Namely, you want to have a divorce that preserves the health of your children. You want to agree to keep communication open and to pick a process that allows you to divorce efficiently and without draining your finances.
You do not and should not talk about the specifics of your case (like who keeps the house or the custody of the children) at this early stage in the process. We have found that when that happens without the right level of distance from the emotional issues or the right legal information, spouses almost elevate the level of hostility in the relationship and around the divorce.
Domestic Violence Cases Are Different
If there is domestic violence in your relationship, these pre-planning principles really do not apply. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney (hopefully one of ours!), who can get you the protection you need immediately.
What to Do When You Are Ready
Once you have discussed divorce with your spouse, and hopefully laid the groundwork for a healthy divorce, it is time to figure out what kind of divorce you might have. We discuss all of your options on our website: uncontested, mediated, collaborative, litigated, or a hybrid. Then you can call us for a consultation. If it is a mediated divorce, you and your spouse should come in for the initial consultation together.