10 Things to Think About Before Getting a Divorce

Man and woman angry with each other, thinking about divorce

Making the choice to divorce is a tough one. However, when paradise has ended, there’s a number of things to think about before taking the plunge for divorce. It’s certainly not something to jump into and requires a lot of thought. Here’s a list of 10 things to consider before filing a divorce petition.

  1. Can the Marriage Be Saved?

Before you’re ready to throw in the towel on your marriage, maybe it can be saved. Have you put in the time to communicate with your spouse, to discuss issues and solutions to the problems that are threatening the peace? Have you given it proper time for both of you to put the solutions into action to see results? Perhaps, working together with a marriage counselor can help bring back the magic or offer solutions. While your marriage may not be salvageable, it’s certainly worth it to explore whether or not your relationship can be saved. This way, you’ll have no regrets that you didn’t at least give it a try.

  1. Child Custody and Visitation

If you have children together, you’ll have to mentally prepare yourself to share the kids. Don’t assume that your ex will just be a weekend dad. Today, many divorcing couples with children are doing 50/50 splits and are actually co-parents. When your child leaves with your ex, it’s tough see them walk away. There’s really no way to prepare for this, but it certainly is something to think about.

  1. Your Child’s Perspective and Feelings

You and your spouse are not the only ones who have their own feelings about the divorce. You have to consider your child’s perspective. While people think that the kids will rebound easily, that’s not the case for all children. Kids react to divorce differently and some may even blame themselves. You’ll likely have to prepare for a rough patch with the kids and setbacks. Clinical psychologist Dr. Emery has written over 150 publications on divorce and several books, including “Marriage, Divorce and Children’s Adjustment.” He states that, “Divorce clearly increases the risk that children will suffer from psychological and behavioral problems. Troubled children are particularly likely to develop problems with anger, disobedience, and rule violations. School achievement also can suffer. Other children become sad for prolonged periods of time. They may become depressed, anxious, or become perhaps overly responsible kids who end up caring for their parents instead of getting cared for by them.”

Children of divorced parents are roughly two times more likely to drop out of high school than their peers who benefit from living with parents who did not divorce. Seventy percent of long-term prison inmates grew up in broken homes. And children who come from broken homes are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide than those who do not come from broken homes.

  1. Your Finances

What’s in your wallet? If you go solo, you’ll have to have the financial funds to do it. Even if you get child support or alimony, that’s not enough to live on. Consider how much marital debt you’ve accumulated, the health of your finances and your credit. The bottom line is that you have to be to financially support yourself.

  1. Your Living Situation

Where are you going to live after the divorce? You may have to move out and will need to start researching areas that you can afford and areas that will keep your children in the same school. You’ll also need to find out the cost of living for your new place, such as rent.

  1. Child Care Resources

After the divorce, you may need more daycare or helping hands. Can you afford daycare? It’s certainly not cheap. What if you can’t get help from family or friends? Consider interviewing babysitters for some steady help with the children.

  1. Dating

First of all, finding the next “One” is no easy task. And dating with kids after a divorce is no walk in the park. What if your kids don’t like who you’re dating? What if the person you’re now dating isn’t really fond of your children or any children?

  1. Education for Advancement

If you’re unable to support yourself, you may need to get a new certification or degree. Have you thought about what you’d like to do or what schools offer the training or education that you need? If not, it’s time to do so.

  1. Readiness

Are you really ready to go solo? This really needs to be thought out. Try and visual what your new normal will be after the divorce, because you no longer will have another shoulder to lean on. It’s just you and life. And according to divorce mediator Nicole Feuer, “You may often feel sad, loss, fear and anxiety, even if you’re the one who wanted the divorce in the first place.”

  1. Reality

Before filing for divorce, you need to do a reality check. Are things really that bad? Do you really think the grass is greener on the other side? Think about the new challenges you may face? There will always be challenges in life and in relationships.

If you’re facing a divorce, turn to the experts at HART Legal. Our attorneys are compassionate, experienced and will help you choose the best course of action.