The divorce process includes multiple steps and complicated terminology for a very good reason. Those who believe in the sanctity of marriage want to preserve it. So by making divorce difficult to obtain, this helps to ensure the concept of marriage doesn’t become disposable.
If you are having thoughts about divorce, you might be wondering if you are better off working on your marriage or attempting a trial separation. Before you take the next steps and file for a divorce, make sure you ask yourself the following questions.
Do you want to save your marriage?
If there isn’t much left to save, then you might be able to imagine a better life for yourself. But if you suspect your problems might be short term, you have to be honest about whether or not you want to save your marriage. Some life events like having a child or losing a loved one might have a short term negative impact on your marriage. You could live to regret your choice further down the line if you go ahead with a divorce without trying to work on your marriage first.
What does your religious stance say?
For some people, divorce isn’t compatible with their religious beliefs. If this is the case, you would either need to find a way to separate without getting a divorce or attempt to work on your marriage. You might find that a crisis of religious belief follows your initial thoughts of divorce as you try to reconcile the two stances.
How will this impact your family?
Your family might include your parents and your children, in addition to any extended family who may have come to rely on your family unit. Young children may be more affected by divorce than older children. But you shouldn’t assume that older children will be happy with the decision. It can be difficult for children at any age, particularly if you have been successful in hiding your unhappiness from them.
Can you afford it?
While this shouldn’t be your only concern, you should consider your financial situation. Divorce can be expensive. Not only will you have to pay for solicitors and court fees, but you will also incur additional expenses while you work through your separation. You will also have to think about how your assets will be split up. This could leave you worse off in the long run. When splitting up assets, many will have to be sold to offer an equal payout to both parties. You may have to make some compromises and part with some things you would rather not lose. Losing the marital home can be particularly distressing if you raised your children there.
Where will your children live?
You may not have the final say in where your children live, so it’s important to consider how a divorce will impact you and your children. Shared custody can be very disruptive to your life and your child’s life. Think about how you will manage this to ensure you do not damage your relationship with your children. If you and your partner are not from the same country, this can make custody even more complicated if one decides they want to return to their home country. You can read more about international divorce and family law here.
Are you ready to co-parent?
When you decide to separate from your partner, you will have to think about how this will impact your children. While you might think this means you will stop making decisions together, this isn’t entirely accurate. Co-parenting is a difficult transition to make. You may feel that you are breaking free and taking control of your life, but your ex will always be a part of your life if you have children together.
Do you have a support system?
It’s normal to have conflicting emotions about your divorce. Some days you may feel that you have made a mistake. Some days you may be angry about how your ex is handling things. And some days you may feel completely overwhelmed by what is expected of you. You need a good support system in place to ensure you can manage the pressure. This could be friends, family or even a therapist you can vent to. Getting professional help during and after a divorce is not a sign of weakness; instead, you should see it as a sign of resilience.