Five Questions to Ask Before Filing for Divorce
If you think your marriage is no longer working and are seriously considering filing for divorce, then there are some important questions that you need to ask yourself to make sure you are really prepared to go through with this life-changing decision. The following five questions can help you carefully examine your situation and weigh your options before proceeding with a divorce.
#1: Have You Clearly Communicated Your Concerns
According to Sherry Amatenstein, a marriage therapist and author, “people hear only between 30% and 35% of what is said to them.” Spouses often think they have communicated their feelings to each other, but in reality, they aren’t clear with their concerns and the other partner doesn’t know where to begin correcting their behavior. If your marriage is rocky and you are considering divorce, ask yourself whether you have given your partner adequate information to make meaningful changes.
#2: Have You Done All You Can To Repair The Marriage?
A successful marriage has many moving parts that need frequent attention and repair to help the relationship thrive. When couples fail to repair marital issues, the relationship eventually breaks down. Before you file for divorce, ask if you have made it a priority to spend time with your spouse and examine your attitudes about marital issues to determine if you are placing any undeserved blame on your spouse. If divorce is on your mind, don’t just sit back and wait for your partner to change, instead, try working together to repair your marriage.
#3: What Are Your Primary Reasons For Wanting A Divorce?
Filing for divorce can only end a marriage, it can’t be used to gain leverage in your relationship. So if you have a different agenda or believe that filing for divorce will give your spouse a change of heart, you’re going to end up disappointed with the outcome. Remember, divorce is not a weapon, it’s a binding legal decision that enables both parties to get a fresh start. Ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish by asking for a divorce to determine if you really want to dissolve the marriage, or if you are only making threats for other reasons.
#4: Will You Be Happier Without Your Spouse?
Although your marriage might be difficult or even impossible, you need to seriously consider the consequences of what you’ll be giving up if you leave your spouse. Will you be satisfied sharing custody with your children? Are you ready to take on the financial stress that comes with managing a household on a single income? While we don’t suggest you remain in a loveless marriage, there are numerous unforeseen feelings that can leave you overwhelmed after you have separated from your partner. Take the time to look at all the things you’ll be giving up if you end your marriage and gauge if they will make you happier in the long run.
#5: How Will Divorce Impact Your Children?
If you have children, then you need to think about how a divorce will disrupt their day-to-day lives and routines. Children often struggle with the transition of living in two households, which is why you should ask yourself if the well-being of the children will be enhanced by divorce and living in a single-parent household. Divorce can sometimes result in children performing poorly in school or withdrawing socially because they feel guilty. Before you file for divorce, try to understand how stressful divorce can be for children and ask yourself if it will really make the current situation better for your children.
Our legal team at McKinley Irvin is here to assist if you need legal advice regarding divorce and any other family law matters. Call us today to request a consultation with one of our legal professionals.