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Talk to spouse first or just serve with papers?

coffeenespresso posted 5/7/2020 10:52 AM

My husband had/is having an affair with his coworker. We're currently still living under the same roof, but we've had absolutely no contact with each other (except for an email he sent me last night trying to figure out what my plan is).

I finally got up the nerve to hire a lawyer a couple weeks ago. He advised that I stay in the house until a separation agreement is drawn up and signed. He also advised that I should just serve my husband with the papers rather than trying to come to an agreement with him and then drawing up papers.

However, they provided me a list of documents that they need in order to write up the agreement...credit card statements, pay stubs, etc. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to get his info without talking to him. How did you handle getting the information/documents? Is it possible to serve him with an agreement without getting those documents beforehand?

I know these may be questions for my lawyer...I just wanted to get an idea of other's experiences.

Here's the post to a general run-down of what's happened, if anyone is interested: https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=646204&HL=74275

Thank you.

Marz posted 5/7/2020 11:19 AM

Under your circumstances the less said the better. Just let your actions speak for you.

Learn to ignore. You’ll move on a lot faster that way.

ibonnie posted 5/7/2020 11:30 AM

Is there a place where you/he tend to keep important documents? A file cabinet? A box in a closet?

hcsv posted 5/7/2020 11:32 AM

My ex had all documents I needed locked down. My attorney asked his attorney for the information.

But, you dont need all the documents to file and have him served. Document collection can come after.

coffeenespresso posted 5/7/2020 11:37 AM

Yes, we do have a file cabinet, which I have access to. I've been able to get the majority of what I need in terms of documents for the house but he gets paperless statements for his credit cards/bank/car loan/401k/etc. in which I never had access to.

Catwoman posted 5/7/2020 12:47 PM

You can still petition for a divorce without those documents, and then file a discovery request which will request the documents you are missing (as well as other things--your attorney should know what to ask).

Personally, I like just serving him with a petition for a divorce and a request for documents at the same time. Oh, and interrogatories. Lots and lots and lots of interrogatories.

While it is likely less expensive if he would produce the documentation, I wouldn't count on it (my ex blatantly ignored TONS of requests to the point where we had to file a Motion to Compel and we asked the court to levy a $100/day fine for every day he was late with the requested materials).

If he truly wants out, he'll play along. That would be the best case scenario.


J707 posted 5/7/2020 12:57 PM

My ex knew I was divorcing her but the only papers I had were my MSA and a few others. I went to the courthouse and filed. The financial docs we dealt with soon after. You don't absolutely need them to file and serve him.

Justsomeguy posted 5/7/2020 13:21 PM

I served my WW with papers after I told her we were done. I grabbed the marriage certificate before she could squirrel it away. Felt soooooooo good to file. Just wish I could have been a fly on the wall.

Funny thing, I stated that her A was the reason for D. She denied having an A in her response, which I have tucked away in a safe. I keep it next time the phone i kept which has all her texts saying she is sorry for having an A.

Tigersrule77 posted 5/7/2020 14:51 PM

If you aren't talking to each other, then I don't think asking for the information is going to do you much good, but you know your WH better than we do. I would have him served and THEN request it.

Westway posted 5/7/2020 17:36 PM

Your lawyer knows ways of getting all the documentation. You can file now and get the clock running. Good luck.

StillLivin posted 5/7/2020 17:45 PM

I let my attorney do everything that I couldn't get my hands on myself. I will admit, though, that I handled the money throughout our marriage and had duplicates on almost everything financial.
Once I decided NC, I went cold turkey. I did have a few hiccups and fell.off, but I got right back on the NC horse.
I'd bet money he's only reaching out now so he can do some financial damage control before he is served. Remain NC and do what your attorney advises. Remember, this may be your only experience with divorce, but your attorney has probably dealt with a thousands cases of divorce and has seen every trick in the book. You're paying her for that experience and for her legal knowledge so use it.

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