My Spouse Filed for Divorce- what do I do?

Whether you saw this coming over the course of years or whether it feels like a complete surprise, it is always a heart wrenching moment when your spouse tells you he or she wants a divorce. If you aren’t ready to give up on the marriage, you may feel trapped or pushed into it. You don’t want to get divorced, but you can’t force your spouse to stay- so what are your options?upset couple considering Arizona divorce

As much as you may feel like now is the time to push for extra counseling, marriage retreats, and reading every “save your marriage” book out there, this might push your spouse even further away. Your spouse is clearly deeply unhappy with the situation, and will not feel “heard” if you continually try to force these kinds of solutions on him or her. You must acknowledge that your spouse has a legal right to pursue a divorce and you will need to attempt to understand why it has come to this point.

Consider using attorney represented mediation. The mediation process is different (and less adversarial) than going straight to court. During mediation, you will have the opportunity to work with an impartial third party whose goal is to create a post-marriage life plan that you and your spouse can both be happy with. During this process you and your spouse will both be able to express your needs and wants, and what it is about the marriage that is standing in the way of those needs. Unless the mediation process breaks down completely due to non-cooperation, then it isn’t over until both spouses are willing to accept the divorce agreement.

While the mediation process can be therapeutic and not all couples that begin the divorce proceedings will choose to finalize their divorce, it is important to understand that your spouse did not make the choice to pursue a divorce lightly. It has probably been a very difficult decision that was considered for months or years before he or she took action. Agreeing to the mediation process is a way to continue the dialogue and foster understanding, but do not mistake it for a counseling session. The purpose of mediation is still to end the marriage, but in a more amicable and communicative way. Even if your hope is to reconcile with your spouse, you should be prepared to protect your interests and ensure your future is secure. Consult with an experienced Scottsdale divorce attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

The Hope E. Fruchtman law firm has the experience and compassion you need in this difficult time. Whatever your end goals are, we’ll work hard to protect your rights and to help you through the process. Contact us today for a free consultation.