If you have been served with divorce papers, or your husband has told you that he is has filed for divorce (or will file soon), what do you do? Below are six steps to take back some control of the situation. Read on to learn more, and contact the Dallas attorneys at Alexandra Geczi, PLLC to get support as soon as possible.
1. Don’t Panic
You may experience a sense of urgency, but it is probably not a true emergency. Domestic violence, family violence, and physical abuse are emergencies, and in those situations, you should call 911.
Facing the possibility of divorce may feel like an emergency, but it is not. Don’t let fear control your response. You have rights and laws to protect you.
2. Speak With an Attorney ASAP
Do not keep your head buried in the sand. This situation is not going away! The longer you wait to speak with an attorney, the fewer options you will have.
3. Don’t Agree to Any Terms He Offers Right Now
The divorce process takes time, and you have rights. Your husband may threaten to make things worse if you don’t accept his offer — don’t let him bully you. Let him know that you hear what he is saying and you will get back to him, then talk to an attorney right away. Do not rush to an agreement without knowing all of your options.
4. Protect Your Money
You should consider opening a new bank account and credit card, changing the beneficiaries on life insurance and retirement accounts, and getting a P.O. box. However, consult with an attorney before you do to make sure you aren’t violating any rules by doing so and to understand what are appropriate amounts of money to set aside.
5. Reassure Your Kids
Tell your children that the divorce is not their fault, that they are loved, that they are safe, and that the grown-ups will figure it out. If your husband tells the kids about the divorce without you, don’t panic. It’s a jerk move, but it happens. Avoid pulling the kids into your fight or blaming the other person. It may be hard to do, but stick to the high road. It pays off in court and in your kids’ lives.
6. Do Not Sign Anything Without an Attorney’s Approval
Your husband may give you a Waiver of Citation or try to have you sign a binding settlement agreement or court order. Do not sign it without discussing it with an attorney. You may think you are making things easier by being agreeable, but in reality, you could be giving up valuable rights and making things more complex and expensive.
Alexandra Geczi, PLLC has some of the best divorce lawyers in Dallas, and we have years of experience helping women plan and prepare for divorce. Contact a member of our team to set up a consultation and discuss your options today. We’re here for you!