Your Spouse’s Reaction to Being Served with Divorce Papers

Q: What if my spouse ‘snaps” after served with divorce papers?

When couples consider getting divorced in Pennsylvania, they often take their time and weigh many factors. Others may decide more quickly based on a sudden and/or unforgivable event or change in circumstances. But once the decision to split has been made, the next worry may be how their children or soon-to-be former spouse will handle the news—especially the initial reaction.

Pennsylvania family law attorneys can help prepare clients for the usual reactions as well as potential unexpected reactions to the news. Hurt, anger, tears and verbal outbursts are common from both women and men who are served with divorce papers. But some reactions are so extreme as to be life-threatening and require the help of both an attorney skilled in domestic violence situations and the local police department and/or child protective services.

A sleepy, upscale Pennsylvania community was recently rocked in the middle of the night when a man served with divorce papers just hours earlier allegedly “fired three rounds at his wife through the door of the bathroom where she had fled from him, narrowly missing her,” according to Bethlehem Township police.

Reportedly, the wife was able to escape the house unharmed, leaving the couple’s two young children behind. But the ensuing nine-hour standoff with police reportedly didn’t end until police employed “an armored vehicle to break down his front door and take him into custody”. The children were unharmed.

Afterwards, the man– whose hobby was marksmanship and had no criminal record– was reportedly charged with “attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment”. It should go without saying that incidence like this can only hurt a parent’s chances of gaining child custody and visitation.

If you are contemplating getting divorced in Pennsylvania, the Law Office of Gary R.  Swavely, Jr. can help. Contact us today for a consultation.

From our office in Reading, we help families in transition in Reading and the surrounding areas to navigate the difficulties of divorce and move forward to a happier future.