By: Leslie Cane: I often hear from women who are wondering how long they truly have to change their husband’s mind about the divorce that he has recently filed. Often, they want to know how long it takes for a divorce to become final so that they will know how long they have to carry out any reconciliation plan.
I heard from a wife who said: “my husband filed for divorce two days ago. We were separated for a while and things actually seemed to be getting better between us. That’s why I’m shocked that he filed. When I asked him about it, he said that it was a very hard decision but that he was just doing what he thought was best. He didn’t really want to elaborate at all so I’m not sure if he’s going to try to get a finalized divorce very quickly or if he will drag his feet because he still isn’t sure. I’m a bit panicked thinking that I might have only mere weeks to save my marriage. But then I think that perhaps my panic is leading me to think that things are worse than they actually are. How can I tell if he’s going to be moving quickly on this? So far, I only have the initial filing.”
I am certainly not an attorney or fit to offer legal advice. And I won’t be doing that in this article. I can tell you that this varies from state to state so any attorney in your particular state can outline a typical time frame.
However, I know from experience that feeling panic is actually a detriment to saving your marriage. The reason for this is that when you are desperate you act in ways that are more likely to make your husband want the divorce to become final more quickly instead of changing his mind. So as rushed as you may feel, try your very best not to panic because this can cause you to lose control of your emotions and now is the time that you need to be firmly in control.
Know That Your Husband (And Not Anyone Else) Will Generally Set The Time Frame:
I am speaking very generally here, but many times, people who want to move very quickly on their divorce have a lot of anger at their spouse. Something very explosive or disturbing has happened to make the divorcing spouse want the other out of their lives as soon as is possible. That didn’t appear to be the case here.
Of course, your husband’s attorney will likely want to get right to work and to move forward. But generally speaking, your husband is the one who will set the pace. In other words, if your husband begins to have doubts and wants to slow or halt the process, he can always tell the attorney to pause or to wait. After all, the attorney works for your husband and everything is done at your husband’s directive.
My point is that if you can change your husband’s mind or cause him to waiver, then he does have the ability to slow down or even halt the process. I have seen this happen many times. I’ve even seen more than a few couples divorce and eventually reconcile later. So although I know you probably feel very pressured, know that even if the worst seemingly happens, people can and do change their mind. It’s my opinion and experience that as long as both spouses are still alive, there is always a chance that all is not lost.
Know That “Fighting” Your Husband On The Divorce Isn’t A Strategy With A High Success Rate:
Many wives figure that if their husband plans to move quickly, their best strategy is to “fight” him on the divorce or to be very contentious. When you consider your long term strategy, this doesn’t make a lot of sense. If your whole goal is to make him not want to divorce you so that you can remain married and will reconcile, then fighting with him isn’t likely to help you much. Sure, you may put a wrench in his plans, but when the divorce is final (even if this takes a little longer) than you may well dislike one another very much, making a reconciliation next to impossible.
The other alternative is share any reconciliation strategy with your own attorney with the directive to cooperate but to not work at the most speedy pace so that each phase takes a good amount of time. Because if you appear to be cooperating, this will mean that you have a better chance of continuing to have access with your husband and of continuing to get a long well. You are going to need both things in order to have the best chance at a reconciliation.
So to answer the question posed, I really couldn’t predict this husband’s time frame. The fact that the couple were still interacting in positive ways was a good sign and I felt that the wife was right to resist panicking. I believe that the best strategy is appearing to cooperate while maintaining as much control as you can. You want to maintain access to your husband so that you can still talk and meet regularly in the hopes that you can steadily improve your relationship until it reaches the point where you husband no longer wants to pursue a divorce.
Unfortunately, I know most of this from experience. To say I panicked when my husband started talking about a divorce is an understatement. And I acted in ways that truly embarrass me now. Needless to say, this hurt me rather than helped me and I had to completely change strategies in order to get my husband back. If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com
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