We’ll assume that you have already thought this decision through. It’s an important decision that you should never take lightly.
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If you’re reading this, you’ve also tried to make things work. Couples counseling was a dud or he refused to go. Perhaps you never bothered because he was abusive and you know it’s bound to happen again. Whatever the case, you’re planning your exit strategy.
I’ve never been married before. However, I have been in a very similar situation. We were engaged. For three years. I left in the middle of the day on our three-year anniversary. Another relationship was us living together for almost five years. If there’s one person that can plan an exit and make sure that you avoid the grimy behavior that bitter people are prone to, it’s me. I’ve been there.
Unfortunately, I’ve also fallen victim to some rather mean behavior. That means that I can forewarn you about what you need to be on the lookout for before you file for divorce.
These tips aren’t going to guarantee that this life event is not going to be stressful. However, they will make the divorce feel less chaotic for both you and your family. This is especially important if kids are involved.
The divorce process, and laws regarding who gets what during a divorce, are separate in every state. This is especially true when it comes to kids. Some states instantly favor the mother. Other states consider the reason for the separation, and both parents have an even shot at custody.
In some states, everything is considered joint property. In others, both people get to keep what they brought into the marriage, and things purchased throughout the relationship are divided up. Know what you’re up against before filing papers.
If this is your second marriage, you’ve already been through this process once. You know the rules when it comes to the joint account. You also know the entire process. The laws in states don’t change very often, so remembering what it was like the first time can help you out this time around.
If lawyers in your area do free consultations, use them. This will give you an idea of how much it will cost you to divorce your husband. You can also talk to them about property and assets. Most lawyers will not only give you an estimated price for your specific situation, but they will also give you legal advice during your consultation.
In my state, both parents have legal custody if they are married. This means that one party can kidnap the babies, file a quick paper for custody, and there is nothing the other party can do about it until they take them to court.
If I were to divorce my husband, and we had kids, I would have to be the first one to head downtown and file papers to prevent him from kidnapping them. Every state is different, so make sure that you’re aware of what you need to do to keep your babies with you.
If the two of you are sharing a bank account, it’s time to change that. Having a separate account will give you more control over your finances. This can help you put cashback, which is going to be very important.
Your husband might get suspicious. Keep in mind that you don’t have to tell him about your own personal account. You don’t want his name to be on it anyway. It’s also a great idea to simply say that you want more of a say-so in your own finances if he does find out.
You’re used to living off of two incomes. That is instantly going to be gone the second that you leave. Granted, you can clear out a joint bank account, but that’s not a great idea. Things are going to be bitter enough, and you don’t want to add to it. You also don’t want to give him ammo to use against you later in court. Instead, start saving as much as you can. You want a nice little nest egg to help yourself and your children, if you have any, out.
If you’re wondering how to leave your husband with no money, you can still save cash. It’s a bit scandalous, but more than possible. My father’s ex-fiance was a homemaker. When she left him, she left with plenty of money. She insisted on doing the grocery shopping alone. It was her “break.” Then, she took a portion of the grocery budget every week. I have no idea how long she was doing this, but she had enough to get a house and travel an entire state away to move into it.
You need to look into the cost of living in your area. Granted, that nest egg will help you. However, it won’t last forever. Will you be able to afford groceries? How much is rent going to cost? If possible, make sure that you have a plan.
Child support can be a part of a long-term plan, but keep in mind that this will be in the finalized divorce. You won’t get that right away. In the meantime, you and your children still need to eat.
You want to look at all of your monthly expenses. Not only do you need to look at how much bills cost, but cut back in areas where you can. This can help prepare you for the future. If the children are going to live with you after the divorce, keep that in mind. Your husband may or may not help you out after the divorce. Most men will help their children, but some don’t until court-ordered to.
Make sure that you have all documents for your children, such as birth certificates and shot records. Get copies of everything you’ll need for the divorce, such as bank statements. Documents proving what you owned before the marriage are essential.
Copies of evidence that you might need in divorce court are also critical. For example, if the cause of the divorce is your husband’s excessive infidelity, you’ll want proof of that.
You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t delete emails, etc. even if you think that they don’t matter. These may be important moving forward. Save copies of every email, text message, etc. It’s always better to have more documents than you need than to realize that you deleted something that would have been useful.
Before you leave your husband, get a better job. You’ll want to make sure that your family is secure financially. That can include a higher salary. While this won’t always be possible, it’s definitely an option that you need to consider before you get a divorce.
Before leaving, build your support system. I spoke with my mom before I left my first one. She was the one that helped me with transportation because I didn’t have a car after the breakup. Or a job. Or anything, really. The second time around, I spoke with my children’s father. He gave us a place to stay. My sister spoke with me and asked if she could move in with me for a brief period while she found a place to stay. They’ll be there when you need them.
You should be planning your next steps at least 3-6 months in advance. Plan your budget. Figure out where you’re going to live. Start growing your savings account. Things can get ugly rather quickly in the midst of the divorce.
Even if you think that your husband is a good man that will not cause common problems during the divorce, you should still do this. It will help you keep your head clear during the emotional roller coaster that divorces are known to be. Planning ahead will make everything easier to deal with.
Most people won’t forget to determine where they will live after the breakup. You’ll also need to consider when you’re going to pack your things.
Are you going to break up with him and then pack your things, or make a quick exit while he’s at work? Will the children be in school or at home? You’ll need to pack their things too. If you’re thinking “I need to divorce my husband because he’s abusive” a quick exit while he’s at work is best, especially if children are involved. It creates less conflict.
There are a lot of articles online that say to tell the children. This can make the separation less emotional for them because they will be expecting it. It also has the potential to ruin all of your planning.
Children that don’t want their parents to get a divorce might tell your husband in an effort to prevent the separation. They might feel bad for your husband, who is also their father. Having this discussion with them can put pressure on them for the six months that you’re planning your exit. It instantly puts them in the middle. Instead, wait until things are in order before telling them.
If you’re going to leave your husband with children in tow, it’s important to consider the impact this can have on them. Any major life event can traumatize children, especially one of this nature. It can greatly benefit kids if they have someone to talk to outside of the situation.
There are certain circumstances that will call for you to leave your husband in the middle of the day. In those situations, you will need to talk to him about it later at a public place.
If you’re not in one of those situations, you can tell your husband prior to moving out. You want to do this as close to the move-out date as possible. Having that conversation months beforehand can overly complicate things during an already difficult time. It can also ruin your plans, making life significantly harder for both you and your children.
You should always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. He might clear out the joint bank account. He could try to kidnap the children. If cars are in his name, prepare for him to try to keep them all. When you are already prepared for this, it won’t catch you off guard if it happens. People can get bitter when it’s time for a divorce.
If you don’t have a job, and your husband is the primary breadwinner, it can feel like you’re trapped. How can you find a house, transportation, and provide for your children when you will have nothing if you leave? I’m going to tell you that it’s possible. Not only do I know that it’s possible, but I’ve also done.
In my first main relationship, he was the breadwinner and I was a stay-at-home mom. He controlled all of the finances. Then, I left. There are plenty of ways that you can find support after a divorce, both emotionally and financially. You’ll want to do the above tips and these.
Your family more than likely already knows your situation. Close friends do as well. Ask them if they can help you until you get back on your feet. One person might not be able to do it all, but if everyone in your support system pitches in what they can it will make the world of difference.
Our Job and Family Services department can provide assistance with everything from transportation to daycare to assistance finding a job. They were extremely helpful and pointed me in the right direction.
I’m aware that some social workers are more than likely not as helpful. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, though. Contact information and referral in your area. In my area, I can do this by simply calling 211. The phone number in your area might be different, but a quick google search can tell you what it is.
If you’re in a domestic violence situation, search for domestic violence shelters in your area. Not only can they provide housing, but they are also designed to protect and help domestic violence victims. Many offer counseling and provide what they can for babies and children. Once you begin staying in one, they can also help you find resources in your local community to help you get by.
If this is a drastic lifestyle change, remember that it’s only temporary. You’ll get back on top eventually.
Making the decision to leave can be a hard choice to make. Planning can be time-consuming. Actually walking out the door can be devastating, despite the fact that you knew that you were going to do it.
The aftermath of leaving, such as divorce court, custody battles, and financial troubles, can leave you feeling drained. During that period, you might consider going back. You could start to lose up. Don’t give up. When it’s all over, you will be stronger. You’ll be more resilient. You’ll have your life back. Always remember that there is rain before flowers bloom.
When you’ve tried to fix it to no avail. You are aware that the two of you are not compatible anymore, and it’s not going to change. Your husband has become abusive. Sometimes, it’s time to end your marriage when you know that it’s not going to last for the rest of your life.
You can tell it’s time to divorce your husband when you’ve tried to repair the marriage but it’s not possible. When one of you is the only one working on the marriage. Your family is concerned about your well-being. Your husband has created a toxic environment and refuses to change.
Quit feeling trapped in your marriage and prepare mentally to file for divorce. Reach out to friends and family for support. Live in a domestic violence homeless shelter. See if there’s a way to build a nest egg while together, like taking twenty bucks out of the grocery budget. Reach out to social services organizations.
Attempt to reach a compromise regarding material possessions. Give him time to process the divorce. Tell him the marriage not working out is on both of you, not just him. Work with your husband regarding visitation. Practice effective communication skills. Make important decisions together.
He mentions divorce. An unhappy husband will spend less time with the family. There will be an emotional gap. Less time together. Little or no sex. He doesn’t seem interested in your day or what you have to say.
Leaving your husband can be tough. The longer you were married, the harder it can be, but it’s possible. If you’ve been through a divorce, what other advice would you give women that are ready to leave their relationship?