We’re sure you’ve heard that more than 50 percent of modern marriages end in divorce, but you may be surprised to find yourself becoming part of that statistic.
Step back and ask yourself these five significant questions before considering a divorce.
Have I Done Everything I Can Think of to Save My Marriage?
Before filing for divorce, you should exhaust all other avenues for the rehabilitation of your marriage.
Have you attempted counseling, either together or separate? Have you spoken with trusted advisors – be they parents, friends, clergy/religious counselors, or others?
Take an honest look at your own role in the downfall of your relationship. Think about what your marriage used to be like and whether a current fight is worth ending something which started out as a great thing.
There may be less drastic measures to try before dissolving the marriage. A trial separation could be a smart way to solidify your ideas. Sometimes distance may clarify the conflicts and could inspire some forms of resolution. It could be that there are also specific problems or disagreements that could be addressed head-on or with mediation.
How Will This Affect Our Child?
Your marriage may be ending, but if you have kids together, your relationship continues. In fact, many divorced couples find that co-parenting brings a “new normal” to their relationship.
You will need to build a strong foundational relationship as co-allies and co-parents to your children. To do this, you cannot let resentment build up and poison the process. If both parties agree to put the needs of the children first, emotional drama can be minimized.
If you and your spouse both have healthy relationships with your child, then your concern may be more for determining custody schedules. Either way, you of course want to think about the emotional effect this will have on your child or children.
However, if you feel your child is in danger or somehow threatened by the presence of your partner, then you may consider filing a restraining order.
What Do I Hope to Accomplish by Leaving?
Are you looking for a fresh start? Are you wanting to be in a new place? What is it that you hope to change about your life by ending your marriage? Is it possible that some of those changes could happen without separating?
You should be at peace with your choice and not overly emotional. If you’re dealing with hurt, frustration, or anger, you need to take some time away to examine the relationship and get on a steady footing before jumping into legal ramifications.
Once you can walk away with no resentment or hatred for your partner, you’ll know your head is clear enough to make that choice.
Am I Being Completely Honest with Personal Issues that could be Affecting the Marriage?
If there are other issues weighing on your mind, they may not be easier to address solo. Substance abuse, gambling addiction, or any other kind of compulsive behavior may be better approached with a twelve-step program or group therapy rather than trying to tackle it alone. The same goes for your spouse if your spouse is tackling such issues.
Patterns in relationships are a reality. Repeated actions can happen due to psychological issues or learned behaviors. If you see something you would like to do differently, can you change your actions this time? Perhaps getting psychological help might help you and your spouse break disruptive patterns.
Can I Handle the Emotional and Financial Impact?
Separation can be a bigger trauma than some people expect and can be expensive. Are you prepared, emotionally, to be on your own? When was the last time you lived alone? Living on one salary after being accustomed to two can be a financial shock. Do you have some savings to support yourself after your spouse moves out? Or after you move out?
Divorce can get messy, especially if it involves children and custody, spousal support and money issues, as well as other legal aspects depending on your situation. You need to research and prepare in order to protect and empower yourself. It should never be a rash decision.
If you have thought long and hard about ending your marriage, though, and feel you would be better off without your spouse, it is time to take the next step.
Contacting an attorney can make the process considerably easier. When you’re ready to start the process, call Mishak Law, with offices conveniently located in North Ridgeville and Amherst, Ohio, to guide you through all the legal intricacies. Our attorneys are ready to help you.