Anyone who's been through the divorce process will likely tell you that it's not a walk in the park. Aside from the emotional ramifications of splitting from the person you once thought you'd spend your life with, it also takes a financial toll on your life. That said, divorce may be the right avenue for you to take. At the end of the day, if you're musing on the thought of being on your own or dating other people, that's a pretty tell-tale sign that you aren't as happy as you could be in your marriage.
Divorce is a big decision that shouldn't be taken lightly, so before you try to find a divorce attorney, take some time to reflect on your marriage. Ask yourself the tough questions you may have been avoiding in the hopes that your doubts and grievances would just fade away: Am I happy or complacent? Am I still in love with my spouse? What would a future without them look like? Is this the best thing for our children?
The first step in the divorce process is probably the most difficult: deciding to divorce at all. There are right ways and wrong ways to go about taking that first step. If you're feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of making this life-changing decision, rest assured because we're giving you five tips to consider before calling a lawyer.
Don’t Give Up on Your Marriage
Hear us out: Divorce is a big decision that affects more people than you'd think—especially if you have kids. Give both your spouse and yourself a chance to address and get past the problems. Let your spouse know that your marriage problems have become so unbearable that you are considering divorce. That said, definitely don't use a potential divorce as a threat, only making things worse. It's only fair that you both have the opportunity to work toward solutions to the problems together or with a marriage counselor.
Divorce should come only after you've earnestly put every effort into saving your marriage. Communicate about your problems and work together toward compromises and solutions. If you feel like you've done everything you could do and are still set on splitting up, then you can do so with no regrets.
Avoid Becoming Involved With Someone Else
New relationships are for after you're legally separated. Introducing a third party into an already bad situation only worsens the situation, especially for the new partner. If you have an affair because you're afraid of being alone, you should deal with that fear before attaching yourself to someone new. Trust us; the new relationship will feel so much more legitimate and meaningful knowing you're in it because you want to be, not because you feel like you have to be.
Keep Your Anger at Bay
The worst time to make a big decision is when you're in an emotional place. Logic, rather than emotion, should drive your decision to divorce. Think about it: When you're level-headed and thinking straight, that is the best time to consider whether or not divorce is something you'd want to do. Your anger toward your spouse won't last forever, and you probably don't want to one day realize you made the wrong decision out of irrational emotions.
Figure Out Your Finances
If your income is smaller than your spouse's, talk to a financial advisor who will help you figure out how you can support yourself should you decide to divorce. Keep in mind that alimony is not guaranteed. If you're worried that your life will drastically change without your spouse's income, ask yourself if your current lifestyle is more important than your happiness. If the answer is yes, work on repairing your relationship to be as content as possible. Otherwise, protect yourself financially.
Set up a bank account in your name and begin contributing to that, when you can, to prepare for setting out on your own.
Choose Your Confidants Wisely
Try not to talk about your marital problems with just anyone who will listen because, should you decide not to divorce, the people you vented to won't forgive and forget like you did. Talk to your closest friends, family, or a therapist if you're looking to unload or seeking advice.