Going through a divorce is undoubtedly difficult for anyone. It is a stressful experience, possibly draining you mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially. It’s a good thing that divorce rates in Arizona have been experiencing a consistent decline in recent years, with only 2.9 divorces per thousand residents in 2020.

Some couples expect a divorce to happen. They could be feeling a deterioration in the marriage, changes in their spouse, or maybe their own feelings. But, sometimes, a divorce could also come as a surprise.

Dealing with a divorce is hurtful enough in itself, and getting caught off guard only makes it worse. If you are on the receiving end of such heartbreaking news, below are some tips to help you handle the situation:

1. Stay Reasonably Calm

Receiving the news that your spouse wants a divorce isn’t easy. You would likely get emotional, especially since you never expected to hear it.

However, staying calm in the moments after your spouse breaks the news is vital to the rest of your journey. No matter the probable outcome. Various possibilities could stem from the moment your spouse tells you about the divorce, and it’s best to cover your bases.

Letting your emotions overwhelm you might cause you to do or say something you regret. If your divorce case ever comes to trial, your spouse’s party might use some of your negative reactions against you.

2. Communicate Effectively

Since your spouse wants a divorce, they might have already given it some thought. No one wants to file for divorce without a valid reason. Listen to your spouse and make an effort to understand their reasons for going this route.

Some common reasons for divorce are:

  • Infidelity
  • Marrying too young
  • Domestic violence
  • Substance abuse
  • Conflict and arguing

If you feel that the relationship is still salvageable, you could communicate this with your spouse. It is best to do this at a later date when emotions have calmed down enough to have a more calm and civil conversation.

You could bring up taking couple’s counseling to your spouse and see if they are open to it. Try to be firm with the direction you want to take while being open to your spouse’s possible pain and displeasure.

3. Lawyer Up

Navigating divorce law could be tricky, especially if you know little about the subject. It would be best if you had an expert on your side. If your partner is really pushing for a divorce, it’s time to lawyer up.

A lawyer will help you understand your legal situation and develop ways to protect your and your children’s rights and interests during court proceedings. It’s essential to find a lawyer you can trust personally and professionally.

Try to find expert lawyers with years of expertise, such as the ones from Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, to help you navigate your options.

4. Manage Your Finances and Important Documents

Everyone wants a peaceful, amicable divorce. Unfortunately, not everyone gets such a good experience. Divorces could be challenging and exhausting in more ways than one.

Your spouse and their lawyer could be finding ways to make the divorce benefit them, which could mean taking away significant pieces of real estate, personal property, or custody of your children. They could try to come after your assets.

Even if you’re still torn about the divorce, you need to protect yourself by getting your finances and other legal papers in order.

If you don’t have one yet, open your own bank account and credit cards to protect your wealth. You should also make copies of any pertinent documents, such as marriage and birth certificates, tax records, and property papers.

5. Stay Close to Your Children

If you have any children, stay close to them. This process isn’t easy on any of the parties involved, especially young children.

Several studies have shown divorce to have adverse effects on children’s development. Children of divorced parents often experience economic difficulties, poor academic performance, emotional damage, and health problems. Witnessing their parents’ divorce could also affect their future relationships as they grow up.

Supporting your children is essential in this time, especially if you wish to maintain custody of them. The court will consider the children’s best interests in a custody battle, and you will need to prove your capability as a parent to keep them.

6. Find a Support System

Going through a divorce, especially one you never wanted, could be a traumatic experience. You don’t have to bear it alone.

Make sure to connect with your friends and family to help you in this difficult time. You’re probably going through a lot of emotions, as an unexpected divorce is complicated and painful to handle. If you need someplace to stay or require financial help, they will likely be the ones to provide it for you. They could also offer you valuable advice and comfort in times of difficulty.

You could also try speaking with a therapist or any mental health professional. Their expertise could help you cope with your pain in healthy and productive ways.

One of your most important relationships might be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean that you have no one else. Work on your current relationships and cherish the people who care for you.

7. Live Your Life

Dealing with a divorce will take some time. Though it might be tempting to throw yourself entirely into the process, remember to take care of yourself. It is normal to mourn, but you also still have the rest of your life outside of your marriage.

Aside from spending time with your children and loved ones, focus on your needs as a person. Work on your career or education. Prioritize your physical and mental health. Explore any old interests you may have left behind, or get some new hobbies.

Divorces are often complicated and overwhelming. It’s okay to feel lost, alarmed, and even hurt. A divorce is going to spark a significant change, which will depend on the choices you make from here on out.

Accept all the support you can get, and surround yourself with people who have your rights and best interests at heart.