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Questions You Want Answered > General Family Law Information > Help! My Spouse just left me.

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I know this seems like a mantra, but don't panic.  Panic does not make anything better.  The first thing you need to do is find a competent family law attorney and pay for a consultation.  That's right, pay for it.  It will be money well spent in how much time, energy and worry it saves you.  Here are some other things that will help if you and your spouse have not already agreed on what will happen when you separate:

1.  If you have joint bank accounts with your spouse, go to the bank and see whether they left any money in them.  If they do, ask your attorney what to do.

2.  Find out if you have any joint credit cards with your spouse.  Do they have balances on them?  How much credit is still available?  Again, this is information the attorney needs to know.

3.  Gather as much information as possible about what you and your spouse own and what you and your spouse owe.  What I mean by "gather information" is make copies of any documents that show what you or your spouse own, what the items are worth and how much you owe.  Make copies of those paers for yourself and keep them in a safe place, to which your spouse does not have access.  Take that information to a lawyer and talk with the lawyer about how you can best safeguard your money and your property during divorce.  

4.  Seek professional help in dealing with the shock and emotion of the separation.  Friends and family are wonderful supports, but they are not equiped to help you  move forward prodcutively.  Additionally, everyone's experiences in the divorce process are different, and by listening to them, you may develop unrealistic expectations of what may happen in your divorce.  Welcome their love and support, but perhaps not their advice.

Last updated on September 4, 2013 by Karen Robbins, Attorney at Law