Legalities are probably the furthest thing from your mind when you first learn that your marriage is over.
However you may feel now, please please please do not make any rash decisions or statements that might affect your financial situation later. DO NOT MAKE ANY IMPULSIVE DECISIONS.
You will need to be able to live decently and comfortably… With time with your kids. And so will your partner.
I’ve seen many single moms – and some single dads – who survive and raise their children with little or no help from their partner. These children still have two parents who both have to contribute to their support. Apart from anything else, those are your kid’s rights.
I’ve also seen fathers – and I’m sure there are mothers in this situation somewhere too – who can barely afford to live and who hardly ever see their children. The custodial parent takes as much money as she can possibly take, often using guilt and the court system to help her. This is unfair and very wrong. Children need both their parents. Period. No matter who is ‘wrong’ and who is ‘right’.
My hope is that one day there will be a reversal of ‘no fault divorce’ and the vows we make will be taken seriously… In a legal sense. No divorce that our society has had yet has been ‘right’ or ‘fair’. We need to think outside the box and start again.
Until then, DO NOT MAKE ANY DECISIONS until you’ve given yourself plenty of time to re-connect with yourself and your needs… No matter if you are the dumper or the dumpee. No matter if you’re ‘innocent’ or ‘guilty’. Find someone who will listen to you and help you hear your own heart; find an accountant; and find a lawyer.
Fairness and level-headedness will win the day. This is often complicated by a lawyer who wants the best for his client, often at the expense of the other. In the long run your children will be happiest if they still have two parents who can behave amicably toward one another. And this is the happiest place for you too. Be firm with your lawyer – but do find one.