It seems so simple. The marriage isn’t happy, isn’t supportive and isn’t working. You think the time has come to choose divorce. But, is it? Here are 5 things to consider as you make that decision.
1. Are you Emotionally Ready? A divorce is going to change your life. It may change where you live. It may change the relationships you have with both friends and family. Even the most amicable divorce involves strong emotions. You are saying goodbye to a way of life and starting a new future. When making the decision to divorce, try to take all the emotions out of the decision and use logic. Know you are strong enough to take the emotional pain that comes from your decision because there will be some hard times and more difficult decisions ahead.
2. Is your Reasoning Valid? Maybe you’ve made a list of your complaints with the marriage and your spouse. Are they a reflection of what is really wrong with the marriage and why it cannot be saved? Or, are they simply a list of why you feel hurt or disrespected? You are making a big decision. Make sure it is based in the truth of what is, what can’t be fixed and what the future will hold – not just reasons based on your emotions.
3. Are you Ready To Start Over? And, have you made the necessary arrangements to know that you can make it on your own? Will you need to get a job? Will you need to establish credit? Do you have a place to live? When you make the decision to divorce, you are making a decision to change almost every aspect of your life. Are you prepared?
4. What about the Others in Your Life? Your divorce is your divorce – it’s your way to a new future. But, give some thoughts to others in your life. Of course, you want to minimize the effects of the divorce on your children, but what about the others in your life. How will it affect an elderly parent? Will you be able to keep close relationships with friends? The “others” may not be a deal breaker but you should consider the impact of the divorce and how you will handle it.
5. Can you Save the Marriage? Do you want to try? Make sure your decision is made with a clear head and not in anger or hurt. Marriages face hard times. A spouse may have cheated or lied. You may feel disconnected. Are you really finished with the relationship? If you want to try to save your marriage, it takes two. You and your spouse should be able to discuss problems and find strategies to resolve them. You may need or want to get some professional counseling. Know whether you want to try to fix things or whether it is time for a divorce.
Part of your decision making should include taking advantage of the free first appointments offered by many experienced divorce attorneys. A lawyer cannot decide if you want to divorce or not, but they can review your situation, give you a knowledgeable idea of what you can expect in terms of the big issues like spousal support or child custody. Your divorce lawyer is your advocate during a divorce. Take the time to make an appointment with more than one attorney. Find the one who can help you divorce with the least possible stress when you make the decision that a divorce is the right path for you.