man giving divorce papers to crying woman

Blindsided by Divorce: What’s Next?

In some relationships, divorce comes as a complete surprise to one spouse. You may wonder what went wrong; what sparked this sudden change?

Not only is being blindsided by divorce emotionally traumatizing, but it may also make you concerned about what else your spouse is capable of doing. It is important to protect yourself and your interests throughout the divorce process. We’ve put together a list of things you should do after your spouse suddenly asks for a divorce.

Contact An Attorney

Your spouse has likely been working with an attorney before telling you they want a divorce. You need to obtain your own legal representation as quickly as possible.
A divorce attorney can help you understand your rights in the divorce and provide guidance on all situations.

A divorce lawyer:

  • Advocates for your best interests
  • Helps you understand custody and child support
  • Helps through the process of property and asset division
  • Can help you negotiate with your soon-to-be ex
  • Organizes necessary documents
  • Has the experience needed to advise you on your next best steps

Gather Financial Records

Begin organizing your financial records. You should take note of what is separate and marital property. Separate property refers to anything you purchased prior to the marriage or individually. Marital property is purchased during the marriage; common examples would be a car or the family home.

In some cases, spouses may attempt to hide assets in order to prevent them from being distributed or split during the divorce. This, however, is a crime. Make sure you analyze all activity from joint accounts or banking records so you can be aware of any suspicious activity. If you believe your spouse is hiding assets, alert your attorney.

Freeze Joint Accounts

Once your spouse has shocked you by filing for divorce, you may worry about what else they are willing to do to you. Even if you don’t believe they would empty your shared bank accounts, it is good to take precautions. Courts have the ability to freeze joint bank accounts. You may also be able to contact the bank and request a freeze yourself. When the account is frozen, both spouses need to authorize any withdrawals that are made.

Long Beach Family Law Firm

Being blindsided by your spouse can leave you feeling betrayed and concerned about what actions they might take in the future. At Curtis Family Law, our family law specialist Robert A. Curtis will fight to protect your interests throughout the divorce. Not only are you dealing with the logistics of the divorce, but you also need time to mourn your marriage. Attorney Curtis can provide the support you need along the way.