Some people blindside their partners with divorce papers while others talk about it around the kitchen table before taking the plunge. Both of these routes have their pros and cons. Here are two reasons early notification is advisable, and two reasons for delaying:
Why You Should Notify Them Early
It Sets a Good Tone for the Divorce
An acrimonious divorce takes longer and requires more money than a peaceful one. A bitter partner may go all the way out to ensure that they give you the hardest time possible with the divorce. For example, they can decide to file numerous pre-divorce hearing motions, hide assets from you or block all your attempts at litigation. Blindsiding someone with the issue of divorce can easily make them bitter and combative. Therefore, by informing your spouse about your intentions, you can set the tone of the divorce and ensure that it is as peaceful as possible.
It Is the Humane Thing to Do
Telling your spouse that you want a divorce is just the right thing to do. You have lived with this person for some time, and once you cared enough to share a roof and bed with them; don't you think it would be inhumane to let someone else tell your spouse you are divorcing them? An early announcement will give your partner time to adapt to the new reality by dealing with their emotions (think anger and hurt); it also allows them to keep their dignity.
Why You Should Not Give Them Early Warning
They May Run Away With the Kids
Some parents may kidnap and run away with their kids if they feel that they may lose their kid during the custody hearing. This is especially likely if your partner hasn't been a good parent to the kid. For example, a parent who hasn't been in their child's life much, haven't been providing for the kid or has been abusing their child may kidnap the child so that they aren't separated. If you fear that your partner may resort to such measures, then it's good to consult a lawyer and take measures to prevent parental kidnapping before talking about the divorce.
They May Abuse You
Some people also turn abusive if their partners broach the subject of divorce, and the abuse can take different forms. For example, your partner may start withholding money from you, beating you or may even kick you out of the house. Again, don't let your partner be the first to know about your intentions if you suspect they might react that way; take measures to protect yourself first. For example, a partner who has abused you in the past is more likely to abuse you again than one who has never abused you.
For assistance, talk to a divorce lawyer.
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