Things to Consider Before Ending Your Marriage: Part I
Marriage is supposed to be for a lifetime- but marriages end every day. Although filing for divorce will be the right thing do for some people, if you can avoid divorce and instead work to improve your current marriage there’s no doubt that you can avoid a lot of sorrow and heartbreak.
If you are someone who is considering taking steps to end your marriage and file for divorce, here are some things to consider before you pull the trigger and call a divorce attorney:
- Have I tried individual counseling? Individual counseling is an invaluable tool for living a good life. Talking to an individual counselor can be the best tool for someone to evaluate the current state of their life and see what the best path forward is. Even talking with a trusted friend is no real substitute for the work that can be done with a qualified counselor.
- Have we tried couples counseling? Unless there are serious abuse or addiction issues that make your marriage unsafe, marriage counseling is worth a shot! Some people complain that counseling is expensive, but there can be no doubt divorce is much more expensive. The emotional, financial, and even health impacts of divorce are legion. In most cases, it is very inadvisable to consider a divorce unless marriage counseling has been tried.
- Is my ideal or standard for marriage realistic? No person is perfect, and no relationship is perfect either. Take an honest assessment of your standards and really consider whether your expectations are unrealistic. If you do divorce and end up in a new relationship, you can be sure that there will be new problems in that relationship for you to deal with- perhaps even things that are comparatively better in your current marriage! If your marriage is free of abuse, addiction, and you have a spouse who is willing to work with you to improve the relationship, talk with a counselor about your expectations for marriage and romantic relationships and get some feedback.
- What will the impact of a divorce be on our children? Although “staying together for the kids” isn’t necessarily the healthy thing to do, it is wise to take a moment and consider what the impact of divorcing your spouse will be on your children. Consult with an attorney who can tell you what the likely outcome will be in terms of parental visitation and financial support. Once you consider what this impact will be, it may help you decide whether or not to keep working on the marital relationship.
- Is the problem an affair? Human beings are wired to biochemically perceive a romantic connection with a newer person in different ways than an established relationship. In addition, the paramour from a marital affair doesn’t have to deal with the less romantic but essential day to day things we handle within a marriage such as finances and raising children. The illicit nature of an affair adds another thrill. Divorce and remarriage changes all of these things- suddenly your paramour becomes your spouse and all of a sudden the problems that plagued your marriage (and maybe some additional ones) are in your new relationship! You can’t honestly evaluate whether your marriage can be saved while engaged in an extramarital affair.
What if I am sure that I am ready to file for divorce or wish to learn more about will happen if I do decide to end my marriage?
It is imperative that you seek legal counsel. John A. Bledsoe is Orange County’s premier divorce attorney and a certified family law specialist. Our firm offers a confidential initial case evaluation. Call (949) 363-5551 to learn more.
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