My Spouse Asked for a Divorce- What Do I Do Now?

Wondering what to do when your spouse wants a divorce?

Unfortunately, not all marriages work out. 

A time may come when your spouse asks you for a divorce. The divorce may be something expected or may completely take you by surprise. 

You may ask yourself what to do when your spouse wants a divorce. What steps do you need to take during this process to ensure your rights and best interests get met?

You may also think, “I don’t want a divorce,” so what can I do? 

What follows is a guide to what you can do when your spouse asks for a divorce. You will find advice on steps you can take to reconcile your marriage. 

Let’s get started.

My Spouse Asked for a Divorce- What Do I Do Now_

Things Not to Do When Your Spouse Asks for a Divorce

First off, there are a few things you should not do if you wish to try to reconcile your relationship. 

It would be best if you did not do things that could make the process more difficult for you.

These DO NOTs include:

  • Acting out by abusing drugs or alcohol, going to bars/clubs, or being flirtatious with others. None of these actions will aid in repairing your relationship.
  • Begging or pursuing your spouse will often have the opposite effect you want. You may end up affirming their belief that the marriage is over.
  • Trying to buy back their love with gifts to make up for an action that may have prompted their desire for a divorce.
  • Attempting to get family and friends to encourage your spouse to change their mind. They may become upset that you are discussing your problems with others.
  • Refrain from attempting to idealize yourself or the relationship. Do not focus only on the good times or your good qualities in an attempt to get them to stay.
  • Excessive phone calls or texts may appear as nagging your spouse. You may appear needy or desperate when they need space to think.
  • Do not spy on them. Following your spouse in your car, reading emails, or looking at their phones will break their trust in you.
  • Do not try to use your children as leverage. The end of your marriage does not mean your spouse stops being a parent. So please do not threaten visitation or badmouthing them around your children.

When your spouse asks you for a divorce, the best thing you can do is give them their space. You risk convincing them that a divorce is the right course of action if you put yourself in a negative light.

Take Proactive Steps When Your Spouse Wants a Divorce

Now let’s look at what to do when your spouse wants a divorce. 

If, in the end, your spouse still wants a divorce, you want to maintain a positive relationship with them.

  • Show that you can move forward with confidence. Whether a divorce is the next step, it will be good for you and your spouse to know that you will be okay.
  • If you want to save your marriage, let your spouse know. Allow them to have their space. Also, make yourself available for positive discussions.
  • Try to stay positive and practice self-care. Show that you will be content, whatever the outcome may be. This mindset can not only do good for your mental well-being but ease the guilt that your spouse may feel. 
  • Be respectful to your spouse and avoid arguments. Walk away from confrontations and come back later to have a calmer discussion; it will be better for both of you.
  • Stay busy with your routine. You may also decide to pick up a new hobby or activity. You may even invite your spouse to join you but respect their declining decision.
  • Prepare your emotions and finances. Practice positive self-care and figure out a budget if you find yourself on a single income. Doing this will help you prepare for the future.

If your wife wants a divorce, give her the space she needs and respect her wishes. Taking positive action during this time will benefit you both. 

Self-care will help you get through the process if a divorce is a decision you both make.

Questions to Consider

divorce questions

It would be best to ask yourself some questions when your spouse asks you for a divorce. Your answers can help you to process what to do next.

  • Do you love this person that wants a divorce? Or do you recognize that the relationship is over? There is no right or wrong answer to this; it depends on your situation.
  • Do you feel you have invested too much in the relationship? You may have concerns about money matters and the time you spent building a life with your spouse.
  • Do you feel a need to stay together for your children? A divorce can affect your children, but so can an unhappy marriage.

These are vital questions when deciding what to do when your spouse wants a divorce. Putting your thoughts and emotions in writing can help work out the problems. You may also find it beneficial to write your answers down and journal your thoughts.

Marriage Counseling

What if I don’t want a divorce?

If your spouse wants a divorce, that is not always the end of the marriage. Some options may help you and your spouse fix your problems and repair your relationship.

One of the first options to do when your spouse wants a divorce is to seek marriage counseling. Even reading relationship books can help you both work through your problems together.

Couples therapy and marriage counseling are reasonable first steps to saving your marriage. Many couples enjoy having a neutral party to speak about their problems. You and your spouse can discuss issues and get actions you can take to save your marriage.

You and your spouse can also attend therapy apart from one another. This step helps if there are issues that one of you is not comfortable talking about when the other is present. Again, having a safe space to talk about what you are going through can be helpful.

Even if counseling does not fix your marriage, you both may get a more positive outlook on the situation. You both may realize the best thing is to move on from the relationship, and therapy can help you heal and move on.

Be Mindful of Your Children

What to do when your spouse wants a divorce?

Remember how this situation will affect your children. Divorces get more complicated when kids get involved.

Children often become sad or confused when the topic of divorce comes up with their parents. A child may blame themselves or try to bargain with their parents to stay together. Making this process as painless as possible for your children is essential.

  • Let them know that it is not their fault. They are not to blame for the problems you and your spouse have, and they must know that.
  • Avoid badmouthing your spouse around them. While you may have people you vent to, your children should not be those people. You run the risk of your child resenting you or your spouse.
  • Try your best to get along with your spouse around your child. Also, assure your kids that you love them and that this change in the family dynamic does not change that.
  • Arrange for counseling for your child if it seems beneficial. Either one-on-one or group therapy can help your child to process the situation.

Know Your Rights

Knowing what to do when your spouse wants a divorce is essential. You should be aware of your rights during the divorce process. This step includes financial decisions as well as when it comes to the custody of your children.

My wife wants a divorce; what are my rights?

Nevada law states that it is a community property state. That means marital assets and debts accrued during the marriage get split 50-50. Any other investments may be subject to a pre-or postnuptial agreement. 

Alimony payments usually get awarded if the couple’s marriage is six years or older.

If there is a difference in incomes, then there may be grounds for alimony to get awarded to one of you. The amount paid depends on several factors, and your attorney can help you navigate this area. 

For child custody, Nevada shows no preference between either parent. The goal is for both parents to split custody. But, a parent can seek sole custody if the court deems it in the child’s best interest.

My husband wants a divorce; what are my rights?

You have the same rights as your spouse. Nevada shows no preference when it comes to gender in divorce proceedings. 

Alimony can get awarded if you and your spouse have a difference in income. So, if you quit working to raise the kids, you may get maintenance while you seek employment to replace your lost income.

Divorce Basics In Nevada

divorce basics

If the marriage is not repairable, you must begin the divorce process. 

Understanding the law is what to do when your spouse wants a divorce. Under Nevada law, you both must be residents here for at least six weeks with the intent of remaining in the state.

The court may also order a separation period before the divorce gets finalized. This period can let you and your spouse decide if you want to continue with the divorce or reconcile. You and your spouse will not be able to cohabitate during this period. Temporary custody agreements may get worked out if you have children.

Nevada is a “no-fault” divorce state. 

What does this mean?

The spouse filing for a divorce does not need to accuse their partner of any wrongdoing to get the divorce. Irreconcilable differences or incompatibility is enough to file for divorce.

Mediation Before Going to Court

Divorce Mediation is another thing to do when your spouse asks for a divorce. This step allows you to agree on the division of assets, child custody, and other aspects before going to court. Mediation can help speed up the process and avoid difficulties between you and your spouse. 

Areas that you and your spouse can discuss during mediation can include:

  • A parenting plan
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Division of assets and debts

Marriage Mediation can also help you in making decisions about your divorce. 

If you and your spouse cannot agree on everything, then a judge will decide in court. Even if you can’t agree on everything, having some common ground can help when you get to the areas of contention. The easier you can make the process for you and your spouse, the better it will be for you both. 

Seek the Help of an Attorney

Even if your goal is to reconcile the marriage, consulting a divorce attorney is a good idea. They can walk you through the ramifications of a divorce from a legal perspective. Your attorney can ensure your rights and interests get protected.

An essential step in what to do when your spouse wants a divorce is to seek an exceptional divorce attorney. Our family law legal team has the experience to guide you through this process. 

If you cannot salvage your marriage, we can help you get a satisfactory result to move on with your life.