Many times in the first consultation or very beginning stages with a new client, they will ask me if/when they should discuss with their spouse that they have hired me and are filing for divorce.
This is a tricky question because it is such a personal decision for many. My advice is usually tailored to the specific set of facts in each case.
However, here are some things to consider:
- If you have a cordial relationship with your spouse, are on speaking terms, and the possibility of divorce has been discussed between the two of you before, being open and honest with them from the start can go a long way towards having an amicable divorce. I’ve had clients who felt blind-sided by their spouse’s filing, and even if the filing wasn’t totally out of left field, the lack of communication left them feeling very distrustful towards their spouse throughout the rest of the process. No one likes finding out they’re getting divorced from a process server.
- If your spouse is prone to rash, unreasonable actions, giving them too much advance notice that the filing is forthcoming can provide them with an opportunity to engage in behaviors that will negatively affect you procedurally, emotionally, and/or financially. Most of these behaviors will be a violation of a court order, called a Preliminary Injunction, once you have filed and served your spouse.
- Also, and I hope this goes without saying but I’ll say it just the same, if you believe your spouse will react in a physical, dangerous, or otherwise violent manner then do not have this conversation with them. In fact, you should have a detailed plan with your attorney as to how to best handle service of process, and what to do should your spouse react badly in this way.
The bottom line is, how you start the divorce can set the stage for how the divorce will proceed. So, take some time before the divorce is filed to consider how to best handle this phase.If you would like to work with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at (480) 994-8824 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.