Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Should You Keep your Plans a Secret?

If you are considering filing for divorce, one decision you have to make is how and when to break the news to your spouse.  Sometimes your partner wants a divorce also. Sometimes he or she may know it's coming, based on prior discussions or actions. And sometimes your spouse is clueless (about this topic).

So, should you keep your plans secret until you are ready to spring into action, or should you wait until it is to your advantage to spring it?  That can actually be a difficult decision and it certainly depends on the facts and circumstances of your case.

Here are some considerations for you.

1. A surprise may catch the other party unprepared.  That could give you an early advantage in court if you have already invested time in preparation.

2. Early notice could give the other party time to act badly.  They could hide things, get angry or retaliate in various ways.  They could also prepare for court.

3. Delaying notice could give you an advantage in a custody fight.  You would have more time to prepare for an early hearing.

4. Waiting would give you time to gather records you may need.  Sometimes you have to order things or it may take a while to review records and organize them for court.

5. You can take time to save up cash if you delay for a while.  You might meet with an attorney, find out what you will need and then save money for several months before you start spending it.

6. Surprise may lead to anger and a bad reaction.  If your spouse feels ambushed, he or she will likely get very mad and make the divorce a lot more adversarial.

7. Sometimes it takes a while for the other side to process the news that there's going to be a divorce.  Letting them know early may help them prepare and adjust and may help avoid some fighting.

As you can see, there are many ways to look at the issue.  You have to make the best decision you can, given the personality and relationships involved.  Talk this over with your attorney and think carefully.  There's no single right answer or strategy!