What Should I Do If My Wife Wants a Divorce?

Written by Jonathan Breeden

May 25, 2023

Divorce rates are climbing, with nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce. If your wife announces that she wants a divorce, you shouldn’t panic. You have legal rights that can be protected throughout the divorce process. You don’t have to deal with the situation alone.

Friends, family, and a knowledgeable legal professional can all stand beside you during this difficult time.

How Does the Divorce Process Begin?

While your wife may have brought up separation in the past, you may first hear about a divorce when you are served with a divorce complaint. The first thing you should do is contact a divorce lawyer. Your wife likely has an attorney, and you also need someone in your court looking out for your best interests.

Responding to the Divorce Complaint

After receiving the divorce complaint, you will need to file an answer. In North Carolina, you have 30 days to respond. Your answer must be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where the divorce was filed.

In your answer, you should address every issue in the complaint. For example, if your wife accuses you of cheating, you can simply deny the allegation. You don’t have to go into depth or detail in the answer. That will be left later or perhaps at a court hearing.

How Will the Divorce Affect Me?

The issues in your divorce can be handled in two ways : creating a divorce agreement or arguing in front of a judge. It’s best to develop an agreement with your spouse because this gives you more input on what happens.

Child Custody and Visitation

Your divorce will impact the amount of time you get to spend with your children. You need to determine who will have primary custody and visitation rights. This can be determined through an agreement, but the court will have the final say because they want to do what is in the children’s best interest.

Child Support

If you have children, child support will most certainly have to be decided in the divorce. In most cases, the higher-earning parent will pay the primary custody. There may be exceptions regarding how much is spent and by whom.

Alimony and Spousal Support

You will also have to decide if alimony or spousal support is appropriate in your case. The court will determine the amount and who receives it. If one party cheats on the other, alimony will likely be awarded. However, you can agree about this issue as well. The court will almost always approve of an agreement regarding spousal support.

Property Division

Property division is one of the most complex issues to be decided in a divorce. You will need to gather information about your financial accounts, marital property, and other assets and debts. Your property will be equitably divided, which does not necessarily mean equally.

How Can I Protect Myself and My Future?

Divorces can get heated. You can take some steps to protect yourself and ensure you aren’t taken advantage of.

When your wife asks for a divorce, you should immediately begin collecting evidence to support your case. For example, if you think she has committed adultery, you might hire a private investigator to confirm it. You should also separate your finances as soon as possible to protect your assets. Talk to people who can serve as witnesses to support your good character.

Many people get wrapped up in gossip during a divorce. Don’t let that happen. If your wife makes negative posts on social media or spreads rumors, simply collect that evidence and save it for court. Do not fight back in public. That will only harm your case and your mental status.

You may consider filing for divorce before your wife has the chance. If your wife uses divorce as a threat, you can file a divorce complaint to move things forward quickly. The best option you have is to get out of a negative situation.

How Can a North Carolina Attorney Help Me?

When you hire a divorce attorney, you have someone on your side to protect your rights. Your attorney can help you organize the evidence and collect information to support your case. Your lawyer can also contact your spouse’s lawyer and negotiate a favorable divorce agreement.

Although most divorce documents are forms, completing them can be complicated. If you make one mistake, you risk delaying your case. An attorney can draft and file legal documents on your behalf.

Call Breeden Law for Assistance Today

Attorney Jonathan Breeden has helped countless clients who are facing divorce. If your wife asks you for a divorce, try to avoid fighting and causing yourself more pain. Focus on the future. You don’t have to deal with the situation alone. A divorce lawyer can guide you through the legal issues and ensure you get the best outcome possible.

Contact Breeden Law Office today at (919) 661-4970 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden