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Actions to take if your spouse asks you for a divorce

Even if things aren't great in your marriage, you may never expect your spouse to ask for a divorce. But if this happens, you must immediately assess the situation and turn your attention to the future.

Here are some of the steps you want to take:

  • Ask your spouse if they're 100 percent sure: This doesn't mean you should beg them to reconsider. You're simply trying to determine if there is another path to take.
  • Decide on your immediate living arrangements: For example, your spouse may decide to move out for the time being. Or maybe you realize it's best to take your children elsewhere while you work through the details of your divorce. Regardless of the approach you take, do your best to discuss it in an adult manner with your spouse.
  • Focus on your finances: Your financial situation is changing forever. Start by creating a property and debt division checklist, along with a new budget. Also, make note of your current income and how it'll allow you to live post-divorce.
  • Avoid discussing important details: You know that matters of property division, spousal support, child support and child custody need worked through, but now's not the time for that. You need to let things sink in before you discuss these topics.

It doesn't matter if you were expecting your spouse to ask for a divorce or you were surprised, you're now in the same situation. By immediately taking the right steps, you can ease some of the tension and ensure that you're doing your part in moving toward a better life in the future.

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