If your spouse unexpectedly files for divorce and seeks full custody of your children, you may feel angry, discouraged, and even hopeless about your situation. Divorce isn't easy for either spouse, especially if one of the parties didn't see it coming. Although divorce can take a serious toll on men and women, some men may experience a great deal of emotional pain before and after their marriage ends. Here are things you may consider doing when your spouse unexpectedly files for divorce.
Maintain a Good Attitude
If your spouse taunts or instigates fights, try to maintain a good attitude, even if you don't feel like it. While many spouses behave amicably and respectively during divorce, some couples do fight or take their anger out on the other person in the relationship. But what you do and say during the divorce proceedings may come back to haunt you.
Some things may occur that bother or anger you. For example, if the divorcing spouse asks you to move out the marital home, try to do so amicably. The spouse may feel more comfortable with the proceedings if you aren't around the home. If possible, find a place that keeps you close to your children, such as in a nearby hotel or close friend's home.
Also, unless it involves the children, try to avoid texting and calling the other spouse excessively during the night and day. If you don't want to end your marriage, you may be tempted to work things out with the other individual. However, the other spouse may consider your actions as a form of harassment. If divorce court finds your behavior harassing, it may affect your ability to gain joint custody of your children.
Finally, focus all of your energy on your children. If you already pay some form of child support, continue to do so. You also want to keep detailed records of the money, clothing, and other things you provide your loved ones. The records may show your willingness to financially, emotionally, and physically support your children before and after divorce.
There's one more crucial thing you can do to get through your impending divorce. You can consult an attorney.
Work With a Divorce or Family Attorney
Some men require legal representation during difficult divorce proceedings, particularly when it involves children. A divorce attorney can go over your parental rights and help you devise a plan that allows you to visit or gain joint custody of your children. If you decide to co-parent your children, a family attorney can assist you with the proceedings.
An attorney may also discuss your assets, including the assets you obtained with the divorcing spouse. If you obtained assets apart from the other spouse, an attorney may be able to help you retain them. Some types of assets (community property) belong to both parties and must be divided fairly. An attorney can go over the different types of assets with you when they view your case.
You want to maintain a good relationship with the other spouse and your children throughout the divorce proceedings. If the other person instigates fights or arguments about your visitation rights, tell an attorney immediately. An attorney may be able to obtain mediated visits for you. A mediator can monitor the visits to ensure that the divorcing spouse doesn't cause problems for you. You may also wish to visit your children in a neutral environment, such as at a public park or restaurant.
If you face an unexpected divorce and need to protect your rights as a parent, contact a divorce attorney or family legal service today.