Are you trying to figure out how to leave your husband?
In this article, we’re covering topics like:
- how to tell your husband you want a divorce
- how to prepare to leave your husband
- a checklist for leaving your husband
- how to overcome obstacles of leaving your husband
Let’s dig right in.
Table of Contents
- How to Leave Your Husband
- The Steps For How to Leave My Husband
- Problems When Working on How to Leave Your Husband
- I Want to Leave My Husband [Here’s What You Need To Do]
How to Leave Your Husband
You’re trying to figure out how to leave your husband.
But you’re probably worried about leaving your husband at the same time.
Leaving your husband can lead to financial, emotional, domestic, and logistical problems.
Storming out in a spur of the moment argument can lead to issues when you file for divorce.
It’s better to have a well thought out strategy when filing for divorce.
The divorce lawyers can help you come up with a strategy to leave your husband.
Related: Divorcing a Husband Who Won’t Work
Should I Leave My Husband [What You Need to Consider]
Grappling with “Should I leave my husband?” can be a huge internal struggle.
When debating on whether you should leave your husband, you might be asking questions like:
- What are the signs that I should leave my husband?
- How do you make the decision to leave your husband?
- What happens to the kids if I leave my husband?
- Can I financially handle leaving my husband?
So, you might be wondering how do I know if I should leave my husband.
There are overarching themes to how likely marriages are to break apart.
Marriages that last are headed towards specific goals.
These goals can be as simple as:
- I do not want to raise my kids in a broken home
- I want to work on my anger issues and stay together
- I want to go to a couple’s therapist for 50 sessions
Setting goals and working on them together is a strong indicator that the marriage will last.
When there are not specific goals tied to the marriage, there’s not much holding it all together.
When you are likely to leave your husband, it’s because you are basing decisions on fear.
Leaving Your Husband
When you are staying in the marriage for fear, it’s not likely to last.
Examples of fear are:
- I am afraid of not seeing my children every day
- I can’t financially survive without my husband
- No one is going to love me as my husband does
No one can decide for you whether you should leave your husband.
What I will say is that I watched my mom stay in an unhappy marriage for 10 years.
She was miserable.
But she hung on because of fear.
She couldn’t afford to leave him.
She was older and didn’t want to start over.
She was scared.
But when she finally did leave him, she was the happiest she had been in 10 years.
While it was SUPER tough on us to go through that divorce, it was worth it.
And now she has met someone who actually treats her 100x better.
You have to make the decision on your own.
If you’re truly unhappy, is it really worth what you’re going through?
I also ask myself the “what if?”
- What if you find the love of your life in three months?
- What if you end up EXTREMELY happier?
- What if it’s the right choice to make?
How to Tell Your Husband You Want a Divorce
Telling your husband that you want a divorce is scary.
It’s a fork in the road.
While there is a ton of turmoil temporarily, it leads to being happier long term.
When it comes to telling your husband that you want a divorce, you want to do it tactfully.
When you are facing divorce courts and a co-parenting relationship, you want to be civil about it.
While we cannot tell you EXACTLY what to do, here are some guidelines for how to tell your husband you want a divorce.
- Find the right location. Tell your husband you want a divorce in a quiet, private space. Don’t do it with the kids home, with friends or family, or in a public area.
- Get the timing right. Telling your husband you want a divorce is going to cause drama. You want to make sure you break the news at a time when they are emotionally stable. You know them best. You know when the right time is.
- Don’t go into details. Telling your husband you want a divorce can be shocking. Don’t try to hash out details about alimony, custody, child support, or splitting assets. Let them process the news first.
- Don’t lay blame. While it’s easy to make your husband the scapegoat, now is not the time to blame him. It’s best to just acknowledge that you have not been happy in the marriage. Blaming him will cause an unnecessary argument. (This is easier when it’s because of irreconcilable differences.)
Now that you know how to tell your husband you want a divorce, let’s talk about the next step.
The steps for how to leave my husband.
The Steps For How to Leave My Husband
When most people decide to leave their husbands, it’s because they snapped.
There is a lot of pent-up anger, resentment, turmoil, etc. and one event just makes you snap.
But if you are trying to figure out how to leave your husband, it’s in your best interest to come up with a strategy.
That is if you can.
Some wives are in abusive relationships and it’s not safe to stay.
But leaving your husband can be financially, emotionally, logistically, and domestically challenging.
Leaving your husband in the heat of the moment doesn’t even give you any time to prepare.
Where will you go?
What are you going to do?
Leaving all willy-nilly makes it harder on you (potentially).
But having a plan developed with your divorce lawyer will make the complexities of filing for divorce easier.
Let’s talk about how to prepare to leave your husband.
Related: 13 Grounds For Divorce
How to Prepare to Leave Your Husband
To prepare to leave your husband, you need to start 2-6 months before you separate.
This gives you time to get things in order and find the best divorce lawyer to represent you.
You may still need to figure things out like:
- where will you live?
- do you need to move for work?
- do you need to build your credit?
- who will help you with kids, if you have any?
- how much do you need in savings for a down payment?
- how much of an emergency fund do you need?
- how will you pay for the divorce process?
As you can tell, when you prepare to leave your husband, there’s a lot to figure out.
Here’s the ‘Leaving Your Husband Checklist.”
Related: Divorce as a Stay at Home Mom
The Leaving Your Husband Checklist That You Need to Follow
1. Gather Documents
When you are preparing to leave your husband, you want to make copies of all of your important documents.
These are copies of documents like:
- your marriage certificate
- prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements
- your licenses
- estate planning documents like trusts and wills
- tax returns
With those documents, you also want to gather financial information.
- Determine what you own. These are savings accounts, investment accounts, inheritances, insurances, valuable belongings, etc. For bank accounts and investments, get financial statements for the past 6 months. Each month, keep getting up to date statements.
- Determine what you owe. No matter who has debt, it’s marital debt that you both are responsible for. Pull both of your credit reports and see what debts are mentioned. Then, pull statements for all of these debts and keep pulling them during the divorce.
2. Start Building Your Finances
When you leave your husband, you’re on your own financially.
When you are preparing to leave your husband, use the 2-6 months to:
- pay off your credit cards
- pay off any other monthly debts that you can
- cancel unnecessary subscriptions to save money
- build a 1-2 month emergency fund
- save up for the down payment for your rental or a new house
- build your credit
- close joint accounts
If you set this plan up and follow it for 6 months, you’ll be in a great position financially.
It’s going to make you less worried about leaving your husband.
Related: Child Support Laws
3. Plan The Logistics
When you are preparing to leave your husband, here are some things you need to consider.
- finding a place to live
- getting a P.O. Box to forward your mail to
- forwarding your mail
- packing/moving all your belongings
- opening new bank accounts in your name only
- taking your name off joint credit card accounts
- changing beneficiaries on your insurance and investments
- modifying your wills and trust
And if you have kiddos, you need to take into consideration what you should do for child custody.
The judges want to disrupt the child’s life as little as possible.
When you are moving, make sure that you live close enough to accommodate:
- your children’s school district
- their extracurricular activities
- the church that they go to
- their current extended family that they see regularly
This will enable you to maximize the amount of child custody that you are receiving.
Keeping the child’s life as normal as possible during a divorce is one of the judge’s goals.
When children are involved, you should also come up with your own desired parenting plan.
Note that the fairer you make this parenting plan, the more likely the judge will approve it.
4. Contact a Divorce Attorney
Now that you are prepared to leave your husband, it’s time to start reaching out to divorce lawyers.
(Fill out the form on this page for a FREE consultation.)
You probably aren’t sure what to expect with your divorce lawyer consultation.
Note that when you have a free consultation with a divorce lawyer, you are not obligated to use them.
Some divorce lawyers will pressure you to use them on the call.
But it’s important that you take your time and find the right one.
Here’s what you can expect leading up to and during the consultation.
You will be asked:
- to fill out a questionnaire about your situation
- to bring documents like prenuptial agreements
- about where you are at in the divorce process
- about your children, if you have any
- about financials (net worth, income, expenses, assets, etc.)
Your information is 100% confidential.
Anything you say to the lawyer is between you and them.
They won’t tell your husband, your husband’s attorney, or the judge unless you give them consent.
The consultations last about 30 minutes.
Related: Divorce Laws
5. Tell Your Husband You Want to Leave Him
Sometimes telling your husband you want to leave him can be too overwhelming.
Technically, you don’t have to tell him.
You can just serve him the divorce papers.
And no, serving him the divorce papers does not mean you hand them to him.
Your divorce lawyer will hire someone to serve your husband.
But you may want to tell your husband you are leaving him.
Just make sure that you are in a safe, quiet place.
You’re going to have to sit down and have a discussion with him.
You might as well wait until you’re alone with him and you have time to hash things out.
When leaving your husband, it is a good idea to consult your divorce lawyer on your strategy of breaking the news.
6. Telling Your Children
After things have cooled off, it’s time to tell your kids.
It’s best, and healthiest, to tell them with your spouse.
And do not blame each other for anything when telling your kids.
Tell them it’s definitely not their fault.
Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child
How to Separate From Husband Immediately
Let’s say you want to figure out how to separate from your husband faster.
The fastest way to separate from your husband is to prepare.
Preparation will speed things up tremendously.
While it’s hard to make your husband be fast about things, you can:
- provide the lawyers with everything they need quickly
- create a parenting plan with your husband
- cooperate with your husband
- attend divorce mediation
You want to separate from your husband quickly.
So, what are the things we see that slows the divorce process down the most?
- unfair child custody plans
- self-employed spouses
- property division
- unethical attorneys your husband has hired
- the amount of conflict between spouses
- the complexity of the divorce
Related: Cost of Divorce
Problems When Working on How to Leave Your Husband
Now you know how to leave your husband and are prepared to.
But what obstacles are you going to face along the way?
I Want to Leave My Husband But Have Nowhere to Go
If I want to leave my husband, but I have nowhere to go, what should I do?
If you follow the financial plans laid out above, you will be able to afford to move.
This includes paying off credit card debt, saving up for a down payment, and building your credit.
After you spend 3-6 months following the plan, you will be able to move.
If finding a place to live is something you are struggling with, check out Apartments.com.
They have over 1 million apartments, houses, condos, and townhomes for rent.
What Happens If I Leave My Husband, Can I Take My Child?
Another common question we get is, “If I leave my husband, can I take my child?”
It depends on what “taking my child” means.
Both parents have equal rights to the children.
Either one of you can take your children at any time.
But if you take the children to an undisclosed location to avoid letting him see them, this can be parental kidnapping.
Don’t do anything that can be considered parental kidnapping.
You may lose custody of your children during the divorce process.
If you take your children, always communicate with your husband.
Tell him where and when the child will be somewhere.
Make sure that you tell him via email, texts, or voicemail.
This way, if he claims parental kidnapping, you have proof that it’s not.
How To Leave Your Husband When You Have a Child
Figuring out how to leave your husband when you have a child can induce waves of guilt.
If you are at this point, you’re probably considering leaving your husband.
And you’re probably staying with him because of the kids.
You don’t want to be responsible for ‘tearing apart their family.’
But, truth be told, many children go through their parent’s divorce and have done just fine.
Children adjust to the situation that they are in.
The biggest thing you can do to make the divorce easy on the child is to have an amicable divorce.
(A contested divorce with kids is the most expensive one.)
And, co-parenting well after the divorce will make the entire process easier on them.
I Want To Divorce My Husband But I Have No Money
If you want to leave your husband, but you have no money, there are some things we need to fix.
First, what will divorcing your husband cost you?
The major things you need to save up for are:
- the cost of divorce
- getting a new place
- emergency fund
Let’s talk about how to get your finances in order to be able to afford a divorce.
Follow this list in order and trust the process:
- Earn more money by working more hours or getting a second job.
- Save more money by cutting out unnecessary spending. Cancel the subscriptions you are not using. Don’t make emotional purchases.
- Pay off credit cards to drop the high-interest debt.
- Save 10%-20% of your income in a savings account that’s only in your name. This money is going to be your down payment on an apartment, your emergency fund, and the cost of divorce.
- Pay off any other small revolving debts. These are things like a computer, Kohl’s cards, or a car (if you can).
Related: Uncontested Divorce
I Want to Leave My Husband [Here’s What You Need To Do]
If you’ve read this and you’re still thinking, “I want to leave my husband,” here’s what to do.
Fill out the form below.
We will set up a free, 30-minute consultation.
We will develop a strategy for your divorce process.
And we will get the ball rolling for you.