It may be shocking when your spouse unexpectedly files for divorce and serves you with divorce papers, but you have to come out of your shock quickly. You do not have time to dwell on the sadness and anger you may feel before taking action. Instead, it is in your best interests to act quickly and contact an experienced Illinois divorce attorney from Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. We understand the divorce may have taken you by surprise, and we will help you prepare for the weeks and months ahead.
What to do When Your Spouse Suddenly Files for Divorce
If you are hit with an unexpected divorce, you cannot simply wait and see what happens. Despite your shock, you have to take steps to address the situation as best you can and protect your rights. You should:
- Call a lawyer: If you were served with divorce papers, you only have a certain amount of time to file your court appearance and respond. By contacting a divorce lawyer right away, you give yourself and your attorney a couple of weeks to review the situation and appropriately respond.
- Speak with your spouse: If your husband or wife serves you with divorce papers you were not anticipating, there may be a great deal to talk about. In particular, this is the time to see what your spouse expects from this process and how you two will handle the legal proceedings. Try to gauge whether you and your spouse feel you can go through the divorce amicably or whether you believe it may become contentious.
- Figure out your living situation: You should discuss with your spouse how you two will live during the divorce. Does your spouse intend to move out or want you to? Do you think you can live together during the process? Speak with your spouse and then talk with your attorney about your options.
- Gather financial information: One of the major aspects of divorce is dividing your shared property, including real estate, personal property, money, investments, retirement, and debts. You should move forward with your divorce with a full understanding of your individual and marital finances so that you can recognize a fair property settlement. This will also help you determine whether you should seek spousal support or may be required to pay it.
- Address your parental responsibilities and time: If you have children, you and your spouse need to immediately address how you will handle telling the children and how you will split parental responsibilities and parenting time, previously known as child custody and visitation. If one of you intends to move out of the family home, then you will need a temporary parenting agreement.
- Focus on self-care: Going through a divorce may be one of the hardest experiences you ever have in your life. Having it come out of nowhere can make it even worse. While you deal with the realities of the divorce, you must also focus on taking care of yourself, physically, emotionally, and financially. Now is the time to make sure you eat well, participate in your favorite hobbies, and consider counseling or a support group.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer for Help
It is essential to have experienced and objective help when dealing with an unexpected divorce. Contact us at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. to learn about your rights under Illinois law and what you should do next.
Contact us online or call us today at 630-961-0060 to schedule a consultation.