If you are unhappy in your marriage and are contemplating divorce, there are some important things that you should consider doing before even bringing up the dreaded “divorce” word with your spouse. Once this word is mentioned the dynamics of the relationship will significantly change so it should not be uttered lightly.
If you are unhappy in your marriage and are contemplating divorce, there are some important things that you should consider doing before even bringing up the dreaded “divorce” word with your spouse. Once this word is mentioned the dynamics of the relationship will significantly change so it should not be uttered lightly. To protect yourself, here is a list of things that you should consider before having that conversation:
1. Ask yourself: do I really want a divorce or do I just want a better marriage with my current partner?
Divorce is life altering and one of life’s most stressful experiences. It should not be entered into lightly. It is often easy to think that the grass will be greener on the other side, especially in modern times where everyone is always posting on social media about how great their lives are. It is easy to have unrealistic expectations about marriage and be quick to want to give up when the going gets tough. Divorce should always be a last resort, so if it is possible to save your marriage by communicating your concerns with your spouse and working together to improve things, this should always be done.
2. Talk to a marriage counsellor.
If you and your spouse are having difficulty communicating, a marriage counsellor may be able to help you work through any number of issues. If both parties are willing to work on things, marriage counselling can possibly save your marriage. If you have children, ask yourself: do I at least owe it to my children to try to do everything that I can to save my marriage?
3. Build a strong support network.
Divorce is extremely stressful on families. It is important that all parties involved have a strong support network that they can lean on during this difficult time. This can include family, friends and even professionals such as therapists, coaches, personal trainers, nutritionists, doctors and others. It is ideal if you can have a strong support network in place before making any changes.
4. Speak to a family lawyer.
Even if you don’t end up retaining the lawyer, it is very important that you understand your rights and obligations before doing anything. Divorce can be a complicated process with far reaching implications that affect finances, property, where you live and when you see your children. Know your rights before you do anything that could compromise them in any way. Many lawyers offer free 30 minute consultations or even if you pay a lawyer for an hour or two of his or her time, it is money very well spent. Definitely, do not move out of the matrimonial home without speaking to a family lawyer first.
5. Spend as much time with your children as possible.
If you want to have custody or lots of access to your children, it is important that you have always been involved in their life. Make sure you have been an involved parent before demanding to be one after a split. The best interests of the children will guide the legalities where they are concerned.
6. Take concrete steps to protect your assets.
Make sure that you are fully knowledgeable about the family finances and investments. If your spouse has been the only one to handle this, it is important that you become familiar before thinking about a divorce. Photocopy important documents such as tax returns, investment statements, property documents and other important documents so that you have a record. If you don’t have credit cards in your own name, apply for your own card so that you can begin to establish a credit rating. Too many women find themselves midlife with no credit rating despite having assets because their husbands always handled everything and just gave them a supplemental credit card. Don’t let this happen to you as it can have far reaching implications should you suddenly find yourself single at midlife.
Divorce is a life altering event with significant repercussions. If you are contemplating divorce and would like to know your rights or how it will affect you, feel free to contact me for a consultation. I can provide both legal advice and also coaching to help support you through this challenging time.