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My Spouse Just Asked For a Divorce – What Do I Do? – Part 1

Out of blue (or not), your spouse asks for a divorce. What do you do now? So many questions will run through your mind. Do you continue to live together? Do I move out? What happens to the kids? How do we tell the kids? How are we going to pay our bills?  Do I hire an attorney? These are all natural and important questions to consider. Ideally, you and your spouse can continue to communicate and resolve those interim issues. If not, don’t worry. An attorney and the Court’s will help.

So, when you are faced with an impending divorce, here is a 2-part blog with my top ten list of recommendations of what to do and what not to do.

1-5: The Emotional Stuff.

1. Keep the children out of the drama. If you have children, you must figure out a way to tell them that is the most therapeutic for the children. If you two are not comfortable doing it together in a positive and healthy way (yes that is possible), then I often advise clients to find a therapist (or schedule a session if you already have a therapist) and utilize a mental health professional to help the children process the news. After that, keep your kids out of it. Your kids should know nothing about the divorce. They should never hear a negative word out of your mouth about the other parent. You chose that person to be the parent of your children and as much as you want to hate them right now, you have to respect them as the parent of your child(ren).

2. Speak with a counselor. Divorce is hard and stressful and having a good counselor to talk to can help you emotionally process a divorce. It will also help you gain perspective through the divorce process and focus on what is important.

3. Utilize your support system. Family and friends are there to help you and listen to their advice – the key word being “listen.” Everyone has a story of someone’s divorce and what happened, but do not let that influence your decisions or expectations. Every case is different.

4. Don’t become a google lawyer. So often consults tell me “well I read this on Google” or “the internet said……” The internet is not always right (I know…shocking). As is the case in No. 3, do not let Google or the internet influence your decision or expectations. If you want accurate legal advice, the only option is to consult with Nevada family law attorney.

5. Yes you can move out. The most often statement I get in a consult is “I was told not to move out as it looks like I am abandoning my children.” I have never had a Judge not award custody to a client because he or she moved out. But do not expect it to be that easy. Moving out may make it more difficult to see your children if the other parent is not willing to cooperate on custody, and that can be very frustrating. However, this is only temporary as custody will be worked either in negotiating the divorce settlement or by the Courts, so hang in there. It is ideal to have a custody schedule agreed to before you move out, but staying in a toxic environment with two parents fighting all the time is worse for your children than you not seeing your children every day. Also know that you have the right to spend reasonable funds to obtain a new residence and pay the expenses for that new residence. You do not have to be a hostage in your own home.

Coming Soon 6-10: The Financial Stuff.

By Andriea Aden
June 12, 2019

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