When you got home from work the other night, you heard those dreaded words from your spouse: “We need to talk.” While that phrase rarely signifies any good news, in this case, the news was particularly bad. Your spouse wants a divorce.
While the news blindsided you, there was one thing of which you are certain, and that is that you do not want a divorce. Is there a way to prevent it?
If your spouse is willing, the two of you could start seeing a marriage counselor. But that only works when both parties are committed to making the relationship work. If one party already has a foot out the door of the marriage, it is unlikely a few marriage counseling sessions will change that.
Of course, there are myriad ways to delay a divorce, from avoiding service of the divorce petition to seeking postponements of hearings on the matter. But all that does is delay the inevitable and run up your legal costs. Thanks to the no-fault divorce laws in all 50 states, there is no legal way to force a person who wants a divorce to stay in a marriage.
This may be heartbreaking news to you, but you need to protect yourself and your interests (and your children, if you have any). Sticking your head into the sand and pretending like the divorce isn’t happening will only weaken your bargaining position. Now is the time to be proactive and negotiate for the best possible divorce settlement that will leave you poised to embark on a new chapter of your life.