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What to Do If Your Spouse Wants a Divorce in San Diego

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2021 | Divorce

Are you searching for information on what to do if your spouse wants a divorce in San Diego?  What do you need to know and how should you begin to prepare?

Some spouses are overwhelmed by the decision to divorce and are somewhat frozen until the divorce papers are served upon them.  By then, you’re already behind.  The most important thing is not to just sit by and wait for it to happen, or worse, let it happen.  There are some things you need to know to protect yourself and to prepare for the next step(s).

If your spouse wants a divorce in San Diego and has announced it to you (versus the natural outcome of a joint conversation) you should assume your spouse has already done some serious planning and met with a divorce attorney.  The Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq have served the San Diego area for decades.  We can tell you, based upon decades of experience with our own clients, when a spouse simply announces their intention to divorce to you they’ve been planning it for months and have an attorney guiding them.

This is why it is important to contact Burke & Domercq immediately when you don’t know what to do if your spouse wants a divorce in San Diego.  We know what to do and can help you to begin to prepare and to understand the process and what to expect next.

If you are served with divorce papers, there will already be requests of the Court particularly associated with child custody and parenting time, child support and spousal support.  You only have a few weeks to respond.  Failure to respond to the divorce paperwork will almost always result in the Judge issuing immediate orders based upon everything the filing party requested.  Answer the divorce petition.  Our attorneys will provide sound counsel and advice.

You need to immediately protect and organize 3 to 5 years of statements and documentation for the following:

  • Business and personal tax returns
  • W2’s
  • All financial accounts, loans, credit cards in either or both of the spouse’s names
  • The mortgage
  • Retirement accounts for you and your spouse

A word of caution: do not use a login/password to access information which you do not control.  This can harm your interests down the road.  If there’s a paper copy in your residence, make a copy.  If the information isn’t directly available under your own access rights make a note of any and all available information (institution, account number, etc.) and provide it to our attorneys.  Don’t worry if documents aren’t immediately available.  Your spouse must disclose everything in a full, transparent and accurate manner at the outset of the divorce.  If they fail to do so we have specific strategies to get to the truth, bring it to light and ultimately seek sanctions from the Court against any spouse who attempts to hide assets, under-value or under-report assets and income.

We understand.  You’re rightfully shocked/upset/hurt/angry/worried.  You need to know what to do if your spouse wants a divorce in San Diego.  The answers are literally:

  1. Take a deep breath. Take a few days to (if you aren’t being handed papers) and let the initial shock and emotional response begin to wash over you.
  2. Contact the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq or call us today at 760-389-3927 to learn more and begin to develop a plan.
  3. Develop a strategy with our attorneys.   Know what you want to achieve and be ready to answer any petition filed by your spouse.  In some cases it may be possible or even important to beat them to punch.
  4. Be very cautious in EVERY communication with your spouse. They’re going to try to draw a response from you.  Never respond to an e-mail, voicemail, text or social media post in anger.  A good policy is to never reply to anything in public. Assume every word you write and everything you speak into your phone will be heard by the Judge, your family, nosey acquaintances, fellow workers, even your children.  This type of evidence usually becomes part of the public record and you need to carefully manage how the Court perceives you, especially if you have children.
  5. Do not move out of the residence under any circumstances, especially if you have children. This can be used against you.

The best way to learn what to do if your spouse wants a divorce in San Diego is to protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.