Separating from a partner is a significant decision that is most definitely not to be made lightly. There are many factors to consider before making the final decision to go ahead with a split. Below is a list of 5 considerations to make before going down the legal route and filing for divorce.
A key success of any relationship is the ability to communicate effectively. If communication is something you have struggled with in your relationship, you might find yourself looking to divorce as an escape route rather than choosing to have some difficult conversations with your partner. However, if you can overcome this and communicate problems to your partner, you may find you can overcome issues together as a couple.
Taking the time to listen to your partner is fundamental to this. Communication only works when the channel is open both ways. By interacting in this way, you may both begin to see how the issues in front of you can be addressed. External professional help may be a way forward for you – if you are struggling to talk to each other, marriage counselling can provide a safe space to talk things through.
Opening up communication channels may lead the way to resolving your difficulties, meaning that rather than divorce, you can start to move forward. On the other hand, it may confirm that getting a divorce is the most suitable and sensible way forward. Either way, improving the communication channels will never be a bad thing. Even if divorce is the result, open communication could help you resolve the issues more smoothly and pave the way to a better relationship going forward, particularly if children are involved.
Considering the affects a separation may have on any children present in the situation is key and there are many things a child will need when the prospect of a parental split arises. Such things include consistency, planning, security and constant reassurance that both parents love them, and the divorce is not their fault.
It is also important to consider the individual personality of the child or children involved, and to anticipate how these developments will affect them. This could be as simple as speaking to the child/children and opening up a dialogue or seeking external help from professionals such as counsellors and/or child psychologists where necessary.
3. Emotional Factors
Whilst considering divorce, and throughout the entire process, the emotional wellbeing of everyone involved is something to keep in mind. The process can be mentally and emotionally stressful for all involved not just the two divorcing parties. The repercussions of a divorce affect children, the wider family and friends too and it is certainly worth considering this before heading towards divorce.
Of course, it is your relationship, and ultimately, you must do what is best for you. However, considering the impact your divorce may have on others may help you anticipate wider issues – for example maintaining the relationships between grandparents and children – and reach solutions.
The divorce process can be very costly, especially if there is a chance that the matter will need to go to court for resolution. Considering how your life could change post-divorce is very important and there are a number of questions you should be asking yourself with regards to your financial position before going ahead.
Are you in the position to enter into divorce proceedings that may progress to court? Would seeking help from a mediator (which legal aid can be available for) prove more beneficial? How will your position change when you no longer have another person bringing in money? Will your income be sufficient to support your lifestyle? Do you have savings and pensions which must be addressed? The list is a long one when it comes to organising money after a divorce and it is important to consider all aspects of your life which may change in this respect.
5. Moving On
Divorcing a spouse will no doubt shake up all aspects of life. A big factor to be considered is moving on in the physical sense. Is remaining in the family home an option for one party? Will the home have to be sold in order to purchase two smaller properties? How will this affect the lives of any children with regards to friends, commitments and schools?
How will you feel seeing your former partner move on in his or her life to be with someone else? Is it what you really want? It’s always worth considering whether the foundations of your relationship are completely broken or whether they are just hidden by the struggles and stresses of everyday life.
And if divorce is inevitable
If, after considering everything, you still feel that divorce is the right option, then it is worth considering the possibility of mediation or another form or alternative dispute resolution, including collaborative law. Working together, so far as possible, to discuss the divorce and make plans and arrangements for the future can help bring your marriage to an end in a much shorter, cheaper and more amicable way than a long, drawn out court process.
If you are considering divorce or are in need of legal advice regarding considerations to make before entering into a separation, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We specialise in Family Law and will be more than happy to help advise and guide you through the legal processes available.