January is known as “divorce month,” as many people decide post-holidays to call it quits. However, the feeling isn’t always mutual. It is common for one side to be the initiator, rather than it being a joint decision. Being on the other side is rough, to put it lightly. Hearing the “D” word may have come out of nowhere and now you are sitting there thinking, “What do I do now?” While everyone is different, we do have some advice for when your spouse wants a divorce, and maybe you aren’t 100% on board.
What Happens Next?
Your spouse has come to you and said they would like a divorce. Having a period of shock is normal. You may not know what to do. Some people break down; others pretend like it never happened. There are a few ways it can progress:
Option 1: Your spouse may formally file a petition for divorce. After this, they may serve you with court papers that show you that the process has begun to move forward. You can either respond or choose to ignore it. However, if you ignore it, your spouse can move forward with a default divorce. Unless you are working together in mediation, we don’t recommend that option.
Option 2: Your spouse may not file anything formally for a while, but may start to act as if it is happening. They may move out or begin to talk about how to separate. They may ask how you two can work together to make it a smooth transition.
Option 3: You can take control and look at how to separate peacefully. Contact a mediation firm (like West Coast Family Mediation Center) to make an appointment. We will help you both talk over what is going on and how to create an agreement that works for both of you.
No matter what happens, our divorce mediators can help you. Whether you have been served with paperwork and choose to go into divorce mediation, or need an attorney referral, we are a great resource.
To make an appointment for a free consultation, contact West Coast Family Mediation Center.