Some spouses are blessed with the foresight to know whether their marriage is worth preserving. Others find themselves on the fence, unsure as to whether it’s best to go through the stress of divorce or remain in an unsatisfying marriage. Your emotions may be a valuable source of guidance, but they can prevent you from examining the rational side of your decision. Keep the following ideas and exercises in mind as you strive for mental clarity:
The Old-Fashioned Pro and Con List
The stereotypical list of pros and cons is a fixture for a reason: it works! Take a sheet of paper, divide it in half, and list the potential benefits of divorce on one side and the pitfalls on the other. Don’t censor yourself; let all of your thoughts on divorce into the open. Later, analyze this list to determine whether your perceptions of divorce reflect reality.
Money should not play a chief role in your decision if you’re currently dealing with domestic abuse or some other relationship trauma. If you’re on the fence, however, a thorough cost analysis can help you determine whether you would truly be better off on your own. Divorce is expensive; in addition to the sheer expense of the legal procedure, you’ll need to consider the prospect of living on a single income, plus childcare and other expenses that may not be necessary while married. In some cases, however, spouses can come away better off, particularly if they achieve a favorable alimony resolution or if they are better able to devote themselves to their career without the shackles of an overbearing spouse.
The Role of Children
Many couples make major decisions about their relationship based on what they feel would be best for their kids. Some believe that a two-parent household is most beneficial, while others shudder at the idea of children growing up with bickering adults. Although children may play a role in the decision, ultimately, it should be a selfish choice, based solely on what is best for each partner.
If you tend to make large decisions based on pure emotion, it’s wise to think about the rational side of divorce. In the end, however, about whether to get a divorce should be guided by both logic and intuition. Combining the two can be a struggle, but it’s possible with assistance from a trusted family lawyer.