5 Simple Steps: Separation
Separation: Five Tips to Help You Respond to a Spouse’s Request for a Marital Separation
Has your spouse told you he or she needs time alone to think about where your marriage is going? If so, you may be sensing that the separation could be a prelude to a divorce. In many cases, this is the eventuality, so it’s a good idea to prepare yourself, both emotionally and financially. What should you do to protect yourself?
1. Find the best lawyer you can afford quickly.
Let him or her advise you on a course of action. Tell your lawyer what your instincts are telling you about the separation: you think a divorce is coming.
2. Time is crucial.
If your spouse files for divorce, you face a deadline to respond to the divorce papers. You may need to freeze assets, to file a restraining order if your spouse plans to leave the state and take the children, or to take other immediate steps.
3. Finding out from someone else.
If your spouse says to someone that he or she is going to file for a divorce, take two steps: Set up a time and place to sit down and lay out all the issues with your spouse. Then, talk with an attorney.
4. If your spouse returns.
Talk to a marriage counselor or seek some type of help as a couple. There’s a reason you separated, find out why and what you can do to salvage your relationship.
5. Keep your options open.