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The first steps to take if your spouse asks for a divorce

Even if you think your marriage is on solid ground, it's always possible your spouse could ask for a divorce. While you don't want to worry about this your entire life, should your spouse bring divorce to light you must know how to properly deal with the circumstances.

Here are the first steps to take if your spouse asks for a divorce:

  • Find out why: It's okay to ask your spouse why they want a divorce, as it will clear the air and give you a better idea of what went wrong. In some cases, you may not have any idea of why they want to go down this path.
  • Ask if there's another option: If you're all right with working things out, see if your spouse is willing to consider marriage counseling or therapy. You don't want to beg them, but it's okay to see if it's an option.
  • Talk about the timeline: You shouldn't discuss the finer details of the divorce process, such as who will keep the family home, but a basic timeline can help the both of you plan for the future and make more informed decisions.
  • Take time for yourself: Immediately after this conversation, take time to process what's happening and think about what you need to do next. There's a lot going through your mind, so take as much time as necessary to figure things out.
  • Be open to answering questions: If your soon-to-be ex-spouse has questions, be open to answering them. If your children are wondering what's going on, provide them with as much age-appropriate information as possible. It's easy to shut yourself off from everyone else when you're faced with divorce, but it will only make things worse.

When you immediately take these steps, you put yourself in the best possible position. It's not a position you want to be in, but at least you're making the most of it.

From there, once everything settles down and you have the mental capacity to do so, you can turn your attention to the divorce process. It's then that you'll learn more about your legal rights, the process itself and the steps you can take to create a divorce agreement that works for you.

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