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My Spouse Deserted Me: Is DIY Divorce A Viable Option?

my spouse deserted meRecently, a woman, whose husband had walked out on her, was asking what her next steps should be for getting out of the marriage. The woman was interested in filing Texas divorce forms, but wasn’t sure how it would affect her case going the do-it-yourself divorce route.

The answer isn’t that cut-and-dry without knowing more about her specific situation, but we would suggest starting with a conversation. Communicating on how the divorce action will be handled is a vital first step to making sure whatever happens next goes smoothly. Divorces of this nature work best when there is little-to-no conflict between the divorcing parties. If conflict can be handled via mediation, that’s a much easier path than immediately hiring an attorney.

If the leaving spouse refuses to communicate and is not taking any action themselves, then we would not see the harm in filing on one’s own. However, if the leaving spouse “lawyers up,” then it’s a good idea to do the same. Regardless, there are steps that one can take right away to minimize the headaches.

  • Remove your name from joint credit cards. Revenge spending is all-too-common in divorce cases, and in many states, a spouse will be equally liable for the purchases made via a joint card.
  • Get organized. By documenting times, places, dates, and events, a woman can prove desertion, which will go a long way in winning the court’s sympathy and attaining a favorable settlement.
  • Cease physical relations.
  • Take financial inventory. Know what assets are yours, what assets are joint, and what your portion of debts should be.

In the end, “succeeding” in a divorce case is less about who files first and more about who is the most prepared. In cases of desertion, many times the leaving spouse just wants out, and they’re not thinking enough about the legalities. This presents a solid opportunity for the deserted to take action on their own and end the marriage in the smoothest possible terms. In all things, fairness, openness, and a willingness to communicate, are your keys to an amicable DIY divorce.

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