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What to do when your spouse has left you

For some Louisiana couples, the breakup of a marriage can be unexpected and sudden. Sometimes a spouse just decides to leave. When that occurs, there are a number of things that it is advisable to do at once, whether you are a husband or a wife. The first, and most important is to immediately seek legal advice from an experienced divorce attorney. Factors that will have to be taken into consideration, of course, will vary depending on whether you have children, the type and size of the assets involved in the marriage, and whether there were any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements in place.

If you are the parent with current physical custody of the children, you should take steps to seek child support, as the fact that your husband or wife left the home in no way relieves them of the obligation to continue to provide for those children, who still have to eat, have a place to live, and have clothes and money for transportation and health care. Informal arrangements are not enforceable as your attorney will explain.

You need advice from your lawyer as to what to do about joint bank accounts, joint credit cards, and similar financial arrangements. You should also discuss changing the beneficiaries on various things, such as life insurance or annuities, as well as putting someone other than your estranged spouse on your power of attorney if you have one.

Some estranged spouses become vindictive or destructive, so it may be important to safeguard sentimental family items or small possessions of great personal valuable. Some such items can be placed in a safe deposit box. While it may not be clear at this point whether divorce is necessarily the outcome of the separation, it is better to be prepared for it.

Source: Money Talks News, "He Left You: Now It’s Time for These 6 Steps" Maryalene LaPonsie, Dec. 18, 2013

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