What To Do When Your Spouse Walks Out
You never thought it would happen, but it has. Your marriage is crumbling and possibly over. To make matters worse, your spouse simply picked up and walked out on you. Sometimes a spouse leaves outright, or sometimes it is on the sneak when no one is home. Nothing can be worse than coming home to find that your spouse has cleaned out their closet and left. Try explaining this to children, who experience abandonment on a whole other level. No doubt, your emotions will run the complete spectrum, from abandonment, fear, disbelief, sadness, and helplessness to anger and beyond. But take action you must. Here are my top three tips for a call to action plan when your spouse leaves.
Get to the Bank and Secure Your Funds. Most spouses who walk out will make the next stop the bank to empty the joint account and stop direct deposit of their paycheck. It is the number one retaliation tactic that occurs the minute a spouse leaves. If you believe that your spouse intends to cut you off financially, you need to make sure that you can survive for at least three months or until an attorney can take action and file a support application on your behalf. This is one reason why it is always a good idea to have some financial independence by having your own bank account. Never wait for hindsight to hit you in the face, even if you are happily married.
Put Your Children First. The presumption under the law is that parents have equal rights to their children. This is the status quo until a Court decides otherwise as it pertains to custody and parenting time. If you feel insecure about this for any reason, you need to see an attorney. In the interim, I believe it is your duty and obligation as a parent to ensure that your children are shielded from the ugliness of your breakup. They are not pawns to withhold and guilt the other spouse into coming back, and the children are not something to “win” in this fight. Your spouse may be a lousy husband or wife, but they are still the other parent of your children.
Call a Family Law Attorney and Schedule an Appointment. Never, ever believe that it is wise to delay seeing an attorney. This is a huge mistake. Even if you are unsure of the status of your marriage, you need to know your legal rights because knowledge is power. An experienced family law attorney should be able to answer all of your questions and dispel some of the myths you may have been operating under. It amazes me how many times I hear, “Well, my spouse said if I divorce them….” (At the end of that sentence, there is usually some twisted or incorrect assumption about the law.) When you are extremely upset, you are far more likely to believe what comes out of the mouth of your soon-to-be ex, who has an agenda. Do not fall for it. Be the informed consumer and reach out for help. Come in to see me for your free 30-minute in-depth and eye opening consultation. Until next month…SSC