Telling your spouse you want a divorce is only the beginning. The next steps will depend on the reaction you get. Do the two of you want to settle things amicably? Aside from not wanting to be married anymore, are you able to work together in the best interests of your children?
If there are any domestic abuse issues, or you expect the process to be contentious, you will likely need to pursue traditional litigation. In other cases, Mediation or the Collaborative Divorce process may be the best approach.
Maintain Financial Status Quo and Gather Documents
You should both try to keep as calm and civil as possible. Try not to fight. Do not close or deplete any joint bank accounts. Instead, begin gathering all the information you can. You will need:
- Documents of all bank accounts and credit cards. Your goal is to obtain statements from the last five years.
- Tax returns.
- Real estate deeds. How property is titled is relevant to property division.
- List of property you believe is your own separate property.
- List of all the personal property and real estate you accumulated together during your marriage.
There are situations where one party has access only to a savings account. You might not have a checking account or credit card. You may not have access to any funds and worry how you will survive. Even then, before you access your one source of available funds, you need to consult with your attorney for advice on what to do next.
How to Tell the Children You are Getting a Divorce
If possible, as parents you should be together when you tell the children about the divorce. You need to reassure the children that they did nothing to cause the divorce. The divorce is strictly between their parents and that you will both still love them and take care of them.
This is a good time to consult with a family therapist to help the children through the process and help you know how to proceed with the divorce in ways that are in the best interests of the children.
Contact Family Law Attorneys at Rosenthal & Markowitz, LLP
For answers to your questions about the divorce process, whether through traditional litigation, mediation, or collaboration, contact our family law attorneys at Rosenthal & Markowitz, LLP. You can reach us online or by calling 914.347.1292.