Ask Yourself These Questions Before Starting The Divorce Process
It’s important not to rush into the divorce process. Ending a marriage should not be taken lightly, as there are consequences for you, your partner, and your children. Divorce is a stressful and life-changing event, and while it may be for the best, there may still be a way to make the relationship work without going through the painful trauma of a break-up.
In this article, we are going to list some of the questions that we think are worth asking before starting the divorce process. It may be that ending the marriage is the right thing to do, but careful and deliberate thought is still needed. You don’t want to make a mistake, after all.
Question 1: Why do you want to get a divorce?
What are your reasons for wanting to get a divorce? There are some very good reasons as to why you might, but then again, there are reasons that might suggest the marriage isn’t over at all.
One of the good reasons to get a divorce is infidelity. If you or your partner have been unfaithful, then trust will have been broken between you. While we all deserve forgiveness and a second chance, you might still want to go through the divorce process if infidelity has become the norm. Another reason to get a divorce is abuse. If your partner is abusive to you, be that physically or emotionally, then you need to put your safety first. The same is true if your partner is abusive to your children. In all its forms, abuse should not be tolerated. And finally, another good reason to divorce is incompatibility. You may have married in a hurry, with little thought about a long-term life together. If you have discovered you don’t fit well together, and there is no love present, then yes, it might be time to call it a day.
But what about the reasons why you shouldn’t get a divorce? If you are considering the prospect because love has faded in your relationship, or you are arguing constantly, you might want to look for ways to get out of your relationship rut. Another reason why you might want a divorce is because of the word of other people. Quite often, our parents can cast judgement on our spouse, or our best friends can cast a critical eye. They might advise us on our relationship, and if they don’t like our other half, they might try to turn us against them. They may have a valid point to make if they are aware of the issues we mentioned in the last paragraph, but if no infidelity or abuse has taken place, and you are relatively happy within your marriage, despite the occasional bump, then it’s important to shut out bad and biased advice, as your relationship is probably worth fighting for. So, think about your reasons. In both a literal and metaphorical sense, will they hold up in court?
Question 2: Can your marriage be saved?
In some instances, as we discussed earlier, your marriage may have passed the point of no return. If your partner has been continually unfaithful, or if you don’t feel safe within the relationship, then ending the marriage might be the sensible thing to do. However, if you are considering getting a divorce because of a relationship rut, then look at ways to fix the marriage before parting company for good.
One of the best things you can do to save your marriage is to sit down with your partner. Have an open and honest conversation about any problems within your relationship, and together, discuss ways to overcome them. And as you are talking, consider what your relationship used to be like. Think back to the time when you were head over heels in love with each other, and ask yourselves why that was. What did you see in your partner to make you fall in love with them? And what did your partner see in you? Together, work on a strategy to reconnect with each other.
Sometimes, love can fade because of a busy lifestyle or pent up resentments, but that love can still be ignited. Get any unaired issues out into the open, provided these things are worth talking about and are not considered petty. And find time within your busy schedules to spend more time together. It might be time to stop working overtime, for example, and you might want to get a childminder on speed dial if your family life has disrupted your relationship. Work together on fixing things, though if communication has become awkward between you, consider hiring a marriage therapist to mediate and help you through the issues within your relationship.
Question 3: How will divorce affect your children?
Despite having children, divorce is sometimes still the right answer. If you are in a loveless marriage, and/or it is any way abusive, then despite the stress and anxiety that your children will feel during the breakup phase, it might be better for your family unit in the long term. If divorce is the answer, you should consider ways to safeguard your children during the process, perhaps with the aid of a family therapist who can counsel and support your children. And you should protect your best interests, especially if you need to fight for custody, using a divorce lawyer accredited in family law, akin to Bobby Dale Barina, Board Certified Attorney at Law. You should then try to work amicably with your partner during divorce proceedings so as not to hurt your children further, and make every effort to let your children know that they are not the reason for the divorce.
However, going back to our last point, could your marriage still be saved? If there is still love between you and your partner, then you might want to work hard to turn things around, not only for the sake of your marriage but also for your children. You need to understand that for many children, divorce comes with psychological side effects, including grief, anxiety and depression. These side effects can be exhibited in the short term with behavioral problems, and the trauma of divorce can be exacerbated in adulthood in relation to the relationships they form. Therefore, if your marriage can be brought back from the brink, then for your children’s sake, it is important to do so.
Question 4: What will life be like after divorce?
You might be unhappy at the moment, but how will you feel after the divorce? Will you be in financial difficulty? Will you have any regrets about ending the relationship? Other than your partner, what else will be missing from your life when your marriage has ended? Divorce is sometimes the answer, despite the struggles and challenges that follow, but when there is still the opportunity to save a marriage, it is important to think about the long-term. Because ask yourself, will you be happy after divorce?
By staying together, you will have a family unit, a home, and some semblance of financial security. By staying together, you will be protecting yourselves and your children from the trauma that divorce can cause. By staying together, you are in a place where your relationship can be saved. For these reasons, you might want to look at your life and look at the positives. Is life really that bad? Life is always greener on the other side of the fence, or so the saying goes, but is it really? Is it worth giving up your marriage and family life for something that might cause you more unhappiness, loneliness, and financial instability? If your marriage can be saved, shouldn’t you work harder at making things work? Sure, get out if the going is too tough to bear, but be certain before you make any hasty decisions. Talk to a counsellor, have honest conversations with your partner, and use proven ways to save a struggling relationship before cutting ties for good.
Life isn’t always easy. Every relationship has its ups and downs, and in those down periods, mistakes are made. Words are said, doors are slammed, and in anger and frustration, divorce can seem like the best solution. It begins as a threat to the other person, but if the conflict isn’t resolved, it can then become a reality. Things might have been different if there were any attempts at resolution. The marriage could have been saved through forgiveness, patience, and old-fashioned love. In such instances, divorce probably could have been averted.
So, ask yourself the important questions before starting the divorce process. If you are currently in this position, can your marriage be saved? In some instances, as we explored earlier, the answer may be ‘no,’ and so be it. For the sake of yourself and your family, we appreciate the decision to call it a day. But if there is still hope, if your marriage can be saved, look for ways to make it work before calling it quits. You might be glad that you did.
Please note that we are not relationship counselors, but we hope this article has been useful. Let us know what you think, and if you have anything else to add, perhaps with advice from your experience, please share your wisdom with us.
Take care, and thanks for reading.