How do I know when to get a divorce? If you’re considering a divorce, then the wheels have already been set in motion. Read this before filing those papers.
Most people who walk down the aisle are not thinking about their divorce strategy. However, it is unfortunately quite a common occurrence with over half of marriages dissolving. The rate for second marriages is even higher.
Sharing your life with another is extremely difficult. In addition to love, it takes sacrifice, commitment, and just plain resolve. However, sometimes even the dedication and hard work just aren’t enough.
There are times when despite all the best intentions divorce is the best option.
Here are some signs of when to get a divorce and what to do next.
When to Get a Divorce
There are some obvious red flags and then there are more subtle clues that the journey you two started on needs to end.
Any Type of Abuse
Abuse comes in many forms; physical, verbal, emotional, financial. There is no type or level of abuse that is acceptable. If you are the victim of abuse, you must make plans to leave.
On the other side, if you find yourself being abusive in any manner, do the right thing and remove yourself from the situation and the marriage as soon as possible.
Someone Is Unfaithful
As with abuse, there is more than one type of cheating. Of course, there is an actual physical affair, but there is a more prevalent type of affair today.
Emotional cheating is on the rise due to the easy access to social media and online apps. Even when there is no physical contact, the emotional distancing from the marriage is devastating.
If you suspect any type of cheating, your divorce lawyer can work with you to find out the facts.
Substance Abuse Issues
It is tragic when someone falls into the control of drugs or alcohol. In many cases, the spouse is there to support, uplift, and encourage the user while they work through this disease.
It is also an unfortunate truth that some individuals do not wish to get better and resist all forms of help. They continue to spiral out of control. If your spouse has chosen substance abuse over their marriage, you need to get out to protect yourself.
Major Disagreements on Money
Money matters are what most couples argue about. Finances are a sensitive issue and when two people are not on the same page tensions are easily flared.
Small disagreements from time to time are not enough to call it quits, but if someone is reckless with money, refuses to contribute to the household expenses, or in other ways put the family in financial risk it may be time to look at getting out.
A good divorce attorney will work to make sure you do not suffer additional financial distress during these proceedings.
The Conversation Stops
While arguing is a sign of discord and strife, when the conversation stops completely, the relationship is on its last legs.
Expressing anger is when you care what the other person thinks or believes. Apathy shows up when you are no longer concerned about their opinion. When you feel like there is nothing else to say, it’s time to move on.
You Are Reading This Article
The fact that you are reading this article is probably a good signal that divorce is on your mind. It is never an easy decision, and shouldn’t be rushed into.
The thought of ending your marriage can cause anxiety and even symptoms of grief. There are positive steps to overcome this frustration.
However, when it is finally time, make sure to place your future in the hands of an experienced divorce attorney who will look out for your needs and assets.
What Is Legal Separation
Before taking the final step to divorce, some couples opt for a legal separation.
You can agree to a trial separation with no attorney involvement and there are no binding agreements. This is a choice some couples make to test the waters and see if they are ready to end the marriage.
A legal separation is just what it sounds like. It is a separation where things like housing, finances, child custody are decided by a judge and must be followed accordingly.
It allows the couple to live individual lives without the final decree of divorce papers. The boundaries are enforced and create a space to figure out the next step.
You are not required to obtain a legal separation prior to filing for divorce, and the decision to do so is mostly personal preference. It can resolve some of the sticky subjects regarding children and money before the actual divorce.
It is important to note, that the marriage itself is still intact. One party is not allowed to remarry, or even legally state they are divorced. And of course, a legal separation can be reversed should the parties decide to try again. It is not final like a divorce.
When to Get a Divorce – What Else to Consider
Some marriages are easier to dissolve than others. If there are only two people to consider and few assets, there is usually not too much turmoil. These are also not the most common.
By the time many people reach the point of considering divorce, there are other things to take into consideration. The biggest one being children in the home.
Matters of custody and child support can be a grueling matter especially if there are bad feelings and resentments. It’s a tug-of-war where one or both parents use the kids as props and pawns to gain leverage or revenge.
Having an experienced divorce lawyer is vital if you a
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re facing an uphill battle with child custody rights or child support payments. The attorney and their staff are knowledgeable in the specific family laws and can get to the truth and fight for what’s fair. You should never try to win this type of battle on your own.
Martial assets is another issue many couples fight about. Who brought what into the marriage. Who contributed more. Who gets the family home. Who is entitled to savings accounts, pensions, and 401Ks.
Just like money is a huge stressor in a marriage, dividing it up during a divorce can be brutal. You must have the guidance of your lawyer to make sure you do not lose out on monies and security for your future and those of your children.
It is wise not to jump into filing divorce papers until you have thought about and looked into these matters. Being unprepared for what the other side may attempt can cost you in time, money, and anxiety.
What Not to Do
So you have decided to proceed with a divorce. That decision could not have come lightly and there are many more decisions ahead. To do your best to keep the process as smooth as possible, there are a few things you should not do.
The first thing some people do when they have chosen divorce is to start telling everyone. This is a bad idea for a few reasons.
First, everyone doesn’t need to know your personal business. Don’t give them a reason to gossip.
Second, there will be family and friends coming out of the woodwork to give you advice. While they have good intentions, most of them probably don’t know the law. You need to only take advice and instruction from an experienced divorce attorney.
Finally, just because you start divorce papers doesn’t mean you will go through with it. Some people change their minds and want to work things out. It’s best to save the news and information until it is definite.
Force the Children To Choose Sides
The very worse thing a parent can do is try and force the children to choose sides in a divorce. It is unfair and devastating to them.
Unless there is severe abuse, children love both of their parents. Most likely they do not understand what is going in and just want everyone to get along. While that may not be possible, the kids should not be brought into the fray.
Children will also have lots of questions. It helps to be prepared to help them deal with the trauma of divorce.
Make Rash Decisions
Another thing some people do out of frustration is to make rash decisions. Their emotions get charged and they say and do things they later regret.
Avoid making threats or accusations just to cause harm. And don’t make decisions about the children, assets, or property based on revenge or pain.
Ignore Sound Legal Advice
Another grave error is ignoring sound legal advice. You should never go into divorce proceedings without an experienced divorce lawyer, and once you have one, pay attention.
It is their job to protect you and fight for your interests. They know the law and won’t allow emotions to take over. Trust your attorney, and listen to them!
Endings Are Sad
Even after two people know when to get a divorce, it is still heartbreaking. Splitting up a family and home is not to be taken lightly. For the best outcome and to protect your future, make sure you have someone on your side.
For more information on how our experienced team can assist you in all your family law matters, please reach out.