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Should I Talk to My Spouse Before Filing for Divorce?

 Posted on November 28, 2023 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerIf you have decided to file for divorce, you may ask yourself whether you should speak to your spouse before filing. Whether it is better to talk to your spouse first depends on your particular spouse and the circumstances of your divorce. Only you know your situation and can decide whether it is better to talk to your spouse before your attorney files the paperwork on your behalf. If your divorce is amicable, talking to them is likely the right course of action. On the other end of the spectrum, if your relationship has grown unsafe, you might not want to alert them that you are planning to leave. Your attorney can assess your situation and suggest a few things to consider in making this important decision. 

Safety Comes First in Divorce

If you are afraid that your spouse will react violently if you tell him/her that you are planning to divorce, you may not want to be together when this news is shared. If your spouse has made threats or been violent toward you in the past, you can request an Order of Protection. While not a perfect defense, these orders tell your spouse he/she will be arrested if he/she takes certain actions, like coming near your home or harassing you. 

Planning a Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce offers many benefits, such as allowing you more control over the final result and saving you court costs. If you hope to file an uncontested divorce, starting the divorce process collaboratively by talking to your spouse first is usually the best choice. If your spouse is aware of the divorce in advance instead of being blindsided with papers, he/she may be more inclined to cooperate with mediation. 

Risk of Your Spouse Interfering 

If your spouse is controlling, manipulative, or mentally ill, there is a risk that he/she will try to prevent you from going through with the divorce if you talk to them before filing. This may manifest in a number of ways, from buying you gifts in the hopes of convincing you to stay to emptying your joint bank accounts. Consider how your spouse could react to this news and how it might affect your ability to get divorced. 

Contact a Palatine, IL, Divorce Attorney

The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. can help when you are ready to get divorced. Attorney Nick Richardson, a dedicated Northwest Cook County, IL, divorce lawyer, will take the time to understand your individual needs. Contact us at 847.873.6741 for a complimentary consultation. 


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