Before you say to your spouse, “I want a divorce,” it is important that you have considered the decision extensively and that you are emotionally and financially secure enough to handle its effects. Prematurely stating this can turn an already troubled relationship into a devastating one with many negative, long-term effects.
If you are considering a divorce, the divorce attorneys at OMG Law Firm encourage you to first read through this blog and make sure that you have considered all the questions and are certain that divorce is, in fact, the necessary step. If you need help understanding the legal implications of divorce and/or custody matters, do not hesitate to contact the experienced divorce lawyers at OMG Law Firm.
What is the intent of wanting a divorce?
If the answer to this question is anything but wanting out of the marriage, then you are likely not ready for a divorce. If you are using divorce as a threat or a way to will the person to change or to express how strongly you feel you have been hurt or wronged, you are using it in the wrong way. Divorce does not have the power to change hearts or minds. The only agenda it has is to end a marriage and allow the involved parties the freedom to form new relationships with new people.
Have you been experiencing extreme stress?
All relationships have their fair share of stressors. Occasionally these stress-inducers can become so overwhelming that they can inform every decision you make and consume all your thoughts. Studies show that during difficult times—financial trouble, unemployment, miscarriage, grief, etc.—the likelihood of divorce dramatically increases.
Though it can be seemingly impossible to escape these insurmountable feelings, it is necessary to ask yourself how much these stressors are dictating your want for a divorce. If you are unable to do this, consider waiting until your stressors are resolved—or at least manageable—before settling on a divorce.
Can you handle the effects of divorce?
It is well understood that feeling hurt, disappointed, and lonely is common after a separation. However, have you considered the extent of it? If you are thinking about a divorce, do your best to imagine not just what you perceive as being the good parts of the divorce but also the bad parts—the insecurity, the complete absence of your spouse, the effects on your children, and the financial and lifestyle changes that will be demanded.
If you have children or stepchildren, consider what the process will be like for them. Are you prepared and able to be a co-parent with your ex and will your kids be able to adjust? Answering these questions can help prepare you for the hard decision you have to make, and it can help give you a better understanding of how to present the issue when you inform your spouse.
To be clear, we are not recommending that you stay in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship because you don’t think you can handle going through the divorce. We are simply urging you to try and imagine both the good and the bad of life post-divorce.
Can you approach the divorce in a responsible, future-oriented way?
Divorce isn’t easy. Whether you are the one asking or responding to a spouse’s request, the process can bring about strong emotions and anger. Without realizing it, bitterness, jealousy, and spite can dictate your actions. And when you have two people making anger-fueled decisions, the divorce process can quickly become costly, stressful, and potentially devastating to your future.
Though it is easier said than done, it is important to prepare yourself for divorce by being stable enough to commit to an approach that is prudent and long-term focused. For example, if you initiate a divorce in an angry and revengeful way, you will surely inspire your spouse to do the same. You can save money, heartache, and time by entering a divorce with the understanding that—regardless of your incompatibility or how much you disagree—your spouse has rights as well. This level-headedness can signal respect, which over time could lead to collaborative divorce and possibly even an amicable separation.
Have you gotten help and given it your all?
Though no therapist or counselor can magically fix a marriage, couples therapy can have an enormous impact on relationships, and in many situations, it can actually save a marriage. If you are considering divorce and have yet to seek help, we encourage you to first give it a try. Even if you have tried therapy and gotten insufficient results, try another therapist if you believe the marriage is worth fighting for—remember not all couples therapy are the same. You have to find the right therapist for your relationship.
Facilitating growth and change in a relationship is a joint effort that requires full commitment. An essential part of giving it your all is looking at yourself, reflecting on your role in the relationship, and taking responsibility for your failings. Ask yourself if there are behavior changes you could make that could improve your marriage.
Accurately and thoroughly addressing your contribution to the marriage is an essential part of the decision to get a divorce. If you have yet to give your marriage your all, make an effort to. No one wants to live with the thought that they didn’t do all they could to save something they once believed in so deeply.
Before bringing up divorce, make sure that you are emotionally ready to confidently tell your spouse. While divorce is rarely an easy thing to do, thoroughly preparing yourself for what potentially awaits can make all the difference. It can keep the issue from spiraling out of control, which can ultimately help secure a better future for yourself and everyone involved.
As we mentioned, through this advice we are in no way encouraging anyone to stay in an unhealthy or emotionally or physically abusive relationship. We are simply urging you to consider all your options, deliberate your decision, and be certain that you’re making the right choice.
If you need to discuss this matter with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you understand all the legal implications of divorce and/or custody matters, do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at OMG Law Firm. With over 20 years of experience as family lawyers in Northeast Arkansas, we have a deep understanding of the emotional, financial, and legal consequences of divorce.
If you are considering a divorce, our experienced and compassionate law firm is here to help. Schedule your free consultation here.