“I want to leave my husband.”
The thought has been fluttering around in your head.
Now you’re trying to prepare ‘just in case.’
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
- I Want To Leave My Husband
- The Steps To Take If I Want To Leave My Husband
- Problems I’ll Face When I Want To Leave My Husband
- I Want to Leave My Husband [Here’s What You Need To Do]
I Want To Leave My Husband
You’re to the point where you’re thinking, “I want to leave my husband.”
But leaving your husband makes you worried at the same time.
Leaving your husband can lead to problems with:
- financial stability
- emotions you have to face
- where you’ll live
- logistics of your life
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.
Most clients who tell us, “I want to leave my husband,” are asking themselves 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 that leads to the question of “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 have two people working 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.
Are you and your husband wandering aimlessly through life?
Without goals, there’s not much holding it all together.
There’s nothing for you two to WORK towards together.
There’s no sense of accomplishment.
Without goals and love, you’re staying in your marriage based 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
If you’re thinking I want to leave my husband, no one can make that decision for you.
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
You may be thinking “I want to leave my husband.”
But how to tell your husband you want a divorce is scary.
You’re at a fork in the road.
Short term, it’s going to suck.
You’re going to be torn apart emotionally.
But you should focus on the long term.
Getting out of a miserable marriage will make you happier long term.
When it comes to telling your husband that you want a divorce, you want to do it tactfully.
Being civil throughout the divorce process can only help you.
You have to show up professionally to the divorce courts.
And you still have years of co-parenting to live with.
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.)
You’ve got an idea of how to tell your husband you want a divorce.
Let’s talk about the next step.
The steps to take if I want to leave my husband.
The Steps To Take If I Want To Leave My Husband
Usually when someone decides I want to leave my husband, something triggered it.
There may have been lots of pent up emotions behind it.
But something led you to thinking, “I’m fed up with this.”
But if you are thinking I want to leave my 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 challenge you:
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).
Sitting down with your divorce lawyer and crafting a plan can make filing for divorce much easier.
Now we are confident I want to leave my husband
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?
There are a lot of things you need to figure out when leaving your husband.
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
When you start thinking, “I want to leave my husband,” you need to start preparing.
This leaving your husband checklist is going to get you positioned to have a smooth divorce.
1. Gather Documents
Sometimes when clients break the news that they are leaving their husbands, the husbands hide important documents.
You want to make copies of all of your important documents.
And it’s important to make these copies BEFORE you tell your husband you want to leave him.
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
When you do this, you are showing the judge you want to maintain the child’s current lifestyle.
The judges will maximize the amount of child custody that you are receiving.
The judge’s goal is what is in the best interest of the child.
This means that they want to disrupt the child’s life as little as possible.
It’s also in your best interests to come up with a parenting plan on your own.
Here’s a tip when creating your parenting plan.
The more fair that your parenting plan is, the more likely it will be accepted.
The judges want the parents to be equally involved in the child’s life.
But maybe the child stays with one parent 4 nights a week.
And the other gets them 3 nights a week.
If you make a FAIR parenting plan that tries to get equal parenting time, it will most likely be accepted.
It also shows that you are more willing to co-parent.
And that you want the other parent to be involved.
These things are very important to the judges.
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.
But you don’t actually have to tell him yourself.
You can just serve him the divorce papers.
Your divorce lawyer will hire someone to deliver the papers to him.
Obviously, you will still have to deal with the conversation after.
But it at least gets the conversation off to a start.
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.
We have seen how things can go terribly wrong with delivering 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 to separate.
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 I’ll Face When I Want To Leave My 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.
The financial plans above include:
- paying off credit card debt
- saving up for a down payment
- building your credit
If you spend 3-6 months doing this, you’re going to well off.
You won’t have any issues being able to afford to move out on your own.
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 to you.
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 your husband 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.
The most important step here is having digital proof that you are communicating.
How To Leave Your Husband When You Have a Child
Figuring out how to leave your husband when you have a child is tough.
You probably feel super guilty.
You probably feel like a bad mother.
You’re probably staying with your husband 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.
Would you rather keep the children in an unhappy home?
Or allow them to live with separated parents who are happier?
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
So, you’re thinking, “I want to leave my husband, but I 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).
If you follow these steps, you’ll save up enough money to leave your husband easily.
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.