Many times divorce is ugly, and there is no doubt divorce is the right thing to do. Nearly as often, we work with clients who still have a lot of feelings for one another.
Here are five questions you may want to ask yourself – and one another – to see if you are really ready to close the account.
- What if you still love one another?
Married couples often drift toward divorce because something isn’t working – but the basic friendship and affection is still intact. Sometimes, the best time to divorce is before this friendship is ruined. Uncontested divorce is usually the way such marriages end. Other times, the problems driving you apart can still be addressed. Sometimes, the answer is to set new rules, and to stick to them.
2. Have you talked to one another about this?
It sometimes strikes us that the two parties in the marriage are unable to communicate. This may be one side’s fault. Just as often, it seems that both sides think they understand the other side’s point of view – but they clearly don’t. This is where marriage counseling can save a marriage before it goes off a cliff.
People who don’t communicate well often should divorce. But it seems like a terrible waste if you just can’t figure a way to get through to one another.
3. Will you be happier apart?
Most people will say yes – with conviction. But deep down, divorce always includes heartbreak and regret. The dream two people entered into optimistically is shattered into a million pieces. Instead of leading to happiness, the death of the marriage can lead to depression.
Other times, the good things between you still outweigh the things that irritate. It’s not a bad idea to make a list of things you can’t stand and things you will miss.
4. Can you afford to divorce?
It’s only recently that both partners in a marriage have enjoyed financial power. Even when both sides work and have resources, however, your property will now be cut in half, and have to afford two separate households.
As your lawyer, our goal is to give your future life the underpinnings of success. There are times, however, when the numbers are not there. This is a question you need to ask. We recommend that you see a financial adviser now, rather than later, to get a handle on what is to come.
5. What are you most afraid of?
People generally divorce because being free of one another is better than being stuck in a marriage that is fundamentally flawed. The future may be scary – but the present is worse.
Our firm is all about protecting the interests and rights of clients in divorce and family law, and also in estate law and criminal matters. Feeling secure in our decisions is part of that picture, and that is why we suggest asking these deeper questions.