What to Do When Your Wife Wants a Divorce

By Beverly Bird

Women initiate two out of every three divorces, according to Divorce Lawyer Source, quoting the National Center for Health Statistics. The statistics are even higher for no-fault divorces and for spouses with college educations. When wives want to end a marriage, their husbands experience many of the same issues women do when the shoe is on the other foot. But they might have some added concerns as well.

Women initiate two out of every three divorces, according to Divorce Lawyer Source, quoting the National Center for Health Statistics. The statistics are even higher for no-fault divorces and for spouses with college educations. When wives want to end a marriage, their husbands experience many of the same issues women do when the shoe is on the other foot. But they might have some added concerns as well.

Saving Your Marriage

There’s a big difference between your wife saying she wants a divorce and handing you a divorce petition. If she has not actually filed yet, find out if there is anything you can do to change her mind. Ask yourself honestly if you might have done anything to bring this decision about, then ask her as well. Find out why she's unhappy. If you’ve been neglectful or disparaging or have had an affair, ask her for a second chance, then make that second chance work. Seek counseling, if necessary, either with your wife or on your own.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Holding Your Ground

If your marriage isn’t savable, you should probably turn your mind to moving ahead. It might be tempting to move out and put the source of your pain behind you, but divorce lawyers will usually warn you against abandoning home field advantage. Most state laws do not permit you to take your children with you, so if you leave, you’re essentially demonstrating to an eventual judge in a custody dispute that you think your children are just fine staying with their mother. You can also protect your interest in your home better if you’re in residence. If selling is the best option and your wife doesn’t want to let the home go, she can easily sabotage a sale every time a Realtor knocks at the door, either with a listing agreement or a potential buyer, if you’re not there to prevent it.

Protecting Your Turf

Your wife might not be happy if you refuse to move out. Consider buying a small recording device that you can keep unobtrusively in your pocket in the event she takes steps to force you to go. In most states, she can get at least a temporary restraining order by claiming you threatened her with domestic violence. This will remove you from the home for a couple of weeks until a judge can decide whether or not to make the order permanent, and it can have nasty ramifications on your divorce as well. If your wife picks a fight and tries to provoke you, hold your temper. Turn on the recorder so you have proof of who started the altercation and your own behavior while it was taking place. Check with your attorney first to find out the laws in your state; in some jurisdictions, you might have to let her know you’re recording the spat. However, this provides you with protection as well. She’ll know she can’t manufacture a scene because you’re recording proof that it didn’t happen.

Safeguarding Assets

When you’re home alone, begin documenting proof of everything the two of you own. Make copies of all your financial documents, creating your own separate file. As soon as your wife retains an attorney, he’ll ask her to provide these documents and they may begin disappearing from the house. Make your own copies as quickly as possible, because your lawyer will want the same documentation. If you can’t give it to him, he’ll have to get the paperwork from your wife’s attorney through the discovery process, which will involve his putting in more time on your case and running up your legal fees.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Prepare for a Custody Evaluation

References

Related articles

What to Do When You Receive Divorce Papers

Ideally, receiving divorce papers from your spouse won’t come as a shock to you, and you won’t get them at work when curious co-workers are watching. After you get over the hurdle of initial emotion, take as firm a grip as possible on your common sense. Begin taking proactive steps forward.

Texas Custody Laws on Moms Taking the Children Out of State Before the Divorce

If your marriage is in trouble but you haven’t filed for divorce yet, you may be in a vulnerable position if your wife wants to take your kids and cross the Texas state line. You can remedy that by conferring with an attorney and acting immediately. Both Texas and the federal government have laws in place that allow you to prevent this sort of thing, at least temporarily.

How to Divorce Someone With a Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Even mentally healthy individuals might feel some sense of rejection when they learn their spouses want a divorce. Individuals diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder will usually take the news even worse. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance and are hypersensitive to any implication that they’ve failed at an endeavor. States increasingly train their divorce court judges to deal with all sorts of difficult personalities, including those caused by mental disorders. However, if your spouse suffers from NPD, you may have to take some commonsense steps of your own if you want to end your marriage.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Fight a Divorce Without a Lawyer

When you’re embroiled in a contested divorce, it’s usually not the best time to begin mastering the ...

Leaving a Matrimonial Home Before a Divorce

A divorce is often a highly emotional event; continuing to live in the same residence can cause the stress to ...

Financial Planning for Divorce

In addition to the emotional upheaval of divorce, parting ways with your spouse is probably going to turn your personal ...

How to Make a Spouse Move Out During Divorce

First, the bad news. If you purchased your home jointly with your spouse, he owns it, too. There’s little you can ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED