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Tips for Dealing with a Surprise Divorce


What a blow!  While you acknowledge that there were certainly squabbles in your marriage, and maybe even a few bigger issues, you had no idea your spouse was actually considering leaving you!  But now you’ve been served with divorce papers, and it’s definitive:  the marriage is over.  You’ve been caught flat-footed and realize your spouse has been planning this for some time.  While they have all their ducks in a row, you don’t even know how to begin preparing for a split, let alone catch up!  What should you do now? The experienced divorce attorneys at WiseLieberman have three tips for anyone who’s is a state of shock over the state of their dilapidated marriage.

1:  Address Legal Issues ASAP

 You’re right:  your spouse has a jump of things and you’re going to have to play catch-up.  That means quickly finding a local divorce attorney who’s experienced with the issues you’ll be facing—not your neighbor’s cousin who handles tax liens.  Under Florida Law, you have just 20 days to respond to a petition for the dissolution of your marriage, in which you either contest any parts of the petition, or agree with everything in it.  From there, your attorney will help you to understand what the coming weeks and months may look like and prepare you for the eventual final decree of divorce.

2:  Get Your Financial House in Order 

A significant part of your job moving forward is going to involve safeguarding your money, and that definitely means collecting financial documents like tax returns over recent years, mortgage documents, banking statements, and so forth.  Your attorney will help you to think about all financial aspects of your life, including things like retirement accounts, health savings accounts, investments, and the like.  Chart your living expenses, including costs for essentials such as child care, work travel, and the like. Another thing you may want to consider to save money and move things along is the possibility of mediation as you move forward, which can be significantly less costly than traditional divorce proceedings.

3:  Take Care of Yourself 

Divorce is a big deal, and the impacts can be emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical.  Now more than ever, self-care is essential.  Get plenty of rest, eat healthy meals, and set aside time to exercise, even if it’s taking short walks every day.  Find someone to talk to about what you’re experiencing, whether it’s a trusted friend or family member, someone from your local church, mosque or synagogue, or a licensed therapist.  Don’t allow yourself to get into a rut by neglecting your financial, physical, or mental/emotional requirements during this difficult time.

Advocating for You 

At WiseLieberman, our experienced and knowledgeable Boca Raton divorce attorneys are here to help.  Contact our office for a confidential consultation today.

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