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If your spouse has left you behind

If your spouse has opted to leave your marriage, you may feel shell shocked. You may feel betrayed, angry, lost or grief stricken. As a result of any combination of these feelings, you may have no idea how to pursue your divorce with any kind of focus or intention. It is understandably difficult to navigate a process you have no interest in and perhaps oppose completely. However, for better and for worse, you will need to show up for this process.

One of the best things you can do is to find a family law attorney who you can trust. If you are angry, you likely will not click with an attorney who seems passive. If you are devastated, you will likely not click with an attorney who is “all business” and lacks empathy. Once you find an attorney you can count on, you can leave much of the legal work in his or her hands so that you can concentrate on processing your emotions and finding ways to move forward.

It is important to note though that your attorney only has so much “power” in regards to your case. Your attorney can file paperwork, communicate with your spouse’s attorney and complete other necessary tasks without too much input from you on a day-to-day basis. However, the approach that will be taken in matters of property division and child custody are largely yours. Your attorney must have your okay to pursue certain legal strategies and to fight for various matters.

Either before or shortly after choosing an attorney, you must ultimately sit down and determine what is of such value to you that it is worth fighting for. Making this determination with an eye towards your future financial stability and general wellbeing is a good way to begin.

Source: The Huffington Post, “To the Left Behind Spouse,” Rebecca Bitton, March 27, 2015

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