You want a divorce. Since things in your marriage haven’t been good for a while, you expected your spouse to feel the same.
Instead of agreeing, however, your spouse blew up and started making threats: “I’ll take everything you own!” “You’ll never see the kids again!” “I won’t agree to a divorce!”
Before you panic, it’s best to separate fact from fiction.
Do any of these common threats have teeth?
Not really. People can say a lot of things, but the law and the courts control what happens. Here’s what you need to know:
- Your spouse can’t stop the divorce. They can delay it through a variety of tactics and make it a miserable experience for you both, but Florida (like most other states) has “no-fault” divorce You can’t be forced to remain married forever.
- Your spouse can’t just take the kids away. Custody laws are about the needs of the children, not the wants of either parent. Shared custody has become the norm over the years, and is usually the default option unless there’s a very good reason not to allow one parent unrestricted visitation with or access to their children.
- Your marital property is meant to be divided. Florida follows an equitable distribution model, so the court will consider each party’s contributions (paid or unpaid) in the marriage, their relative assets and net-worth and other factors when deciding how your assets and debts will be divided up.
It’s also possible that your spouse will eventually calm down, think about things a little more clearly and start seeing reason. In the meantime, don’t let them scare or bully you into doing nothing.
If you’re ready to seek a divorce, the first step is always to learn more about the process. A consultation with a local attorney may be wise.