What To Do If My Spouse Is Planning To File For Divorce?

What To Do If My Spouse Is Planning To File For Divorce?

To protect oneself emotionally, counseling is always a good idea, as is talking with close friends. While friends should not be giving legal advice (as it will often be bad, inaccurate, or misunderstood), it is certainly key for people to have a confidant with whom they keep in regular contact for emotional and moral support during the case. It is usually best if this confidant is not a family member, especially if reconciliation in the future is possible. This is because if they are talking negatively about their spouse to a family member, then that family member will harbor negative feelings and not welcome their spouse in a reconciliation.

It’s important to speak to an attorney about whether physically separating is a negative or a positive in the situation. Emotionally, physically separating can sometimes be necessary because residing together cannot be handled. Certainly, if there is domestic violence situation, then physical separation becomes absolutely necessary for protection. There can be legal impacts from a physical separation that need to be understood. For example, spouses can have liabilities or lose certain interests by moving out, so prior to moving out, it is crucial to seek the advice of a skilled matrimonial attorney.

Is There Any Benefit To Being The First Spouse To File?

Generally speaking, there’s not a significant advantage to being the first spouse to file. The filing spouse will usually have to pay the filing fee, so they will incur a little bit more of an expense than the non-filing spouse. However, the filing spouse controls the date that the assets and debts are valued, so they might want to choose a specific date. For example, they might have certain bills, expenses, purchases, or transfers that they want to deal with before filing for divorce. This is one advantage to being the first to file. If there are children involved, the first to file has the advantage of having the judge look at their application for temporary custody first. In some cases, an application for temporary custody filed by one spouse could be reviewed by a judge before the other spouse even has a chance to respond to the divorce papers, which can be an advantage for the first to file.

Should I Contact A Lawyer Before I File For A Divorce Or If I Suspect My Spouse Is Going To File?

It’s important for an individual to speak to an attorney in order to understand their rights and liabilities, how to protect themselves, what steps to take, and whether it makes sense for them to file for divorce if their spouse hasn’t already. There may be reasons to file right away, such as avoiding responsibility for the debt the other spouse is incurring, or stopping the other spouse from selling assets.

Regardless of the details of the situation, people need to understand what they’re facing in moving forward with a divorce or separation. There is a lot of bad information out there. I meet with people all the time who think they understand divorce because their friends have been through it, but unfortunately, their understanding from their information relayed via friends is often very inaccurate. Friends are not a good source for legal advice (even if they’ve been through a divorce), and information obtained online cannot tell a person what to expect in their case. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to have a consultation with an attorney who can provide insight as to what to expect and how to protect oneself. Meeting with an attorney doesn’t mean the individual must go forward and file for a divorce; in fact, they might never see the attorney again, but they would at least have useful knowledge in case they or their spouse decides to file for divorce in the future.

No one wants to unexpectedly be served with divorce papers and have no idea how to respond. Once served with divorce papers in New York State, a person has 20 days to respond, which means they have 20 days to choose an attorney and determine their rights. It is best to meet with an attorney before a divorce has been filed because there is so much planning that can be done. If both spouses have reached a decision about the divorce, then possible resolutions can be discussed before a divorce is even filed. There might be a way to reach an amicable settlement prior to the filing of the divorce so that once it has been filed, it will be a very simple, uncontested process.

There are also options short of a divorce. Some people have disputes but want to stay together or try to reconcile the relationship while making sure they protect themselves from possible liabilities, like their spouse running up debts or selling assets. The in-between option is a post-nuptial agreement, which is similar to a prenuptial agreement. In essence, it states that two people who are already married have decided to make an agreement about how they should deal with their finances or property during their marriage and/or in the case of divorce. There are many options short of divorce, all of which could end up saving the time, money, and pain of divorce.

For more information on Planning To File For Divorce In New York, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (585) 449-4987 today.

Stories From Former Clients

Hear It Directly From People We've Helped
  • “Thank you Duke Law Firm”

    - Jessica
  • “I highly recommend”

    - Tyler
  • “Had my back 100%”

    - Melanie

Contact Us

We're Here to Help You Every Step of the Way
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.