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Some stranger just handed you papers labeled “Action For Divorce”, and your mind starts racing. Anger, fear, regret, and anxiety are just some of the emotions you’re feeling. But what should you do next?
First and foremost, don’t overreact and do anything extreme that you will regret later. Do your best to stay in control of your emotions. This is a time to be thinking as clearly as possible.
If you just don’t think you can face your spouse or control yourself in front of your kids right now, it’s ok to take a moment. Take a timeout. Seek comfort from family, friends, or be by yourself for a while if necessary. Devote the day, the night, or a weekend to yourself. Then as soon as possible, get back to your life and routine. Especially, if there are children involved you have to maintain routines for their sake.
Just to be clear, I am not telling you to vacate your marital residence permanently, in fact just the opposite. You have to be prepared mentally to dig in, and do what is necessary to care for your children. Do not give your spouse the opportunity to seize control over the home and your children’s routines.
With regard to your kids and your behavior, the most important thing you can do is to leave your children out of your adult relationship problems. Let your kids be kids. No matter how mature you think they are, be careful not to tell them too much. Instead of burdening them with your relationship problems, reassure them that both of their parents still and will always love them. Explain to your children that regardless of what’s happening with your marriage, they will always be taken care of and loved by both of you.
Once you are able, you will want to start gathering necessary information. Including Copies of previously filed tax returns inclusive of W2’s, statements from all bank accounts, investment account information, retirement account statements for you and your spouse if available. And mortgage statements that include the amount still owed on the loan. Equally important is having all information about debts, such as credit card statements
At this point you need help, and should be seeking a consultation with a respected local divorce attorney. The papers you were served with need to be answered in a timely manner.
In addition, those papers contain automatic orders that prohibit certain activities. The local divorce attorney you consult with should be able to advise you of what your next move should be. Finally, the papers you were served contain automatic orders that prohibit certain activities. Our next post will discuss the initial automatic order‘s and what to expect at your initial consultation with attorney Christopher Palermo, The Suffolk Divorce Lawyer.