What’s the first step in protecting myself if my spouse wants a divorce?

UPDATED: May 21, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: May 21, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What’s the first step in protecting myself if my spouse wants a divorce?

She wants dissolve the relationship, what do I do?

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Family Law, California


Jason Ostendorf / Law Ofice of Jason Ostendorf

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Even though you are in California and I am a Maryland divorce lawyer, I can nevertheless tell you that the first step you should take involves three things - 1. schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer, 2. make a list of all your property (kitchen utensils to linens to clothes to cars to real estate, pensions, stocks, bonds, etc.) and all of your spouse's property, and 3. if there are joint bank accounts, take out your fair share immediately before your wife does.

You should schedule a consultation because, if it is going to be a constested matter, then you need a lawyer.  You should make the property list now because, oftentimes in contested cases, one party may dispose of certain property in bad faith.  You should take pictures of all the property so you have evidence of the make and models, that way you do not get into a word against word issue in court (this should be easy given the smart phones nowadays).

As to the bank accounts, you do not want to risk either having the court rule against your opinion of your fair share, or risk having the wife take your money and spend it.  Be reasonable about this last step, and speak with a lawyer before deciding whether to actually spend any of it in order to make sure you have a right to do so.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption