Believe it or not, many have coined the month of January as "Divorce Month", the month in which a rather large percentage of men or women seek legal advice about the issue of separation and divorce.
For many the issue of whether to stay in their marriage or to seek to divorce or separate will have been playing on their mind for quite a while. The reality is many will have been talking to friends or potentially family or even attended counselling to help them find the answer to this very difficult question. Ultimately, no one can answer this question for you and one of the right way to go about things is to ask yourself a variety of difficult questions in the hope that this may make the road you choose to take a little clearer.
If you are going through this now or know someone who is, I am hoping the following questions may serve as a good way of making think about where you are on your journey. This 5-point roadmap will light the path in answering the question, “Should I stay or should I go?”
Identify the Real Issues.
Troubled marriages can feel like war, and effective war is waged by creating distractions and misdirection. Sort through the haze and get to the actual heart of what is causing the marriage to be in danger. Are you no longer compatible? Why? Has trust vanished, and how can it be reestablished? Pinpoint the trouble and bring it into the light. Discuss it between you. Is this a difficult patch or just how you both are now.
Determine Your Choices.
Once you’ve established what the true issues are, brainstorm all of the potential options on how to move forward. Base these options on your faith, your beliefs, your abilities, and the best interests of the whole family. Can you see a path through that you are both prepared to commit to? are you both of the same view and have the same goals?
Visualize the Outcome of Each Option.
If you choose path A, what will the consequences be? What about path B? How will you manage the children, homes and family. Will you both be happier, sadder or no change? These are difficult questions to consider, but they are real and must be accounted for properly.
Take the Matter to trusted resources
You can solicit the advice and wisdom of your trusted family and friends, and take their words and experiences into your final decision as well. However, you may also need to take the advice of an outsider, someone that be unbiased in their opinion or view of a particular matter. Your decision must come from you and your wants as ultimately you have to feel that your decision has been right for you.
It will take you a while to consider the above points and you certainly need to take your time. If you decide that you are leaning towards perhaps ending your marriage, there are some other issues that you should consider before taking the next step. These are amongst others:
Here Are the 6 Things to Consider As You Decide to Get Divorced
Do you know them?
Do you know where your money is and your spouse’s too?
Do you know what’s considered marital property and what’s not?
Do you know your expenses and debts?
How does a separation affect them?
Where will they live?
How much support will you pay or receive? What are their ages and how does their stage of development and/or special needs impact what occurs?
Can you learn to co-parent with your spouse?
Have you and/or your spouse saved for retirement?
How will it look if you divorce?
Have you been working outside of the home?
If not, will you get spousal support and for how long?
If you have a career already, or are returning to one, how will the children be cared for in your absence?
Your health and healthcare:
Do you, your spouse or children have health challenges?
How will they be impacted by the divorce?
Who provides the healthcare coverage you currently have?
How will that change in divorce?
Your friends and family:
Do you have strong bonds with family and friends that will bear the strain of separation and divorce?
Are you prepared to lose friendships because some people cannot manage your divorce when their own marriages are fragile or their own worldviews of what’s possible are limited?
Are you willing and able to forge new friendships and connections at this stage of life?
Do you have support outside of family and friends so you do not strain those relationships beyond repair?
SOLICITOR OR DIVORCE COACH?
Many of you reading this article, will wonder where to go for help. Or perhaps you would like to discuss the answers to some of the questions above.
Who is it that you can talk to that can offer one to one, independent and unemotional advice. Many of my clients have often expressed their reluctance of going to a solicitor for fear that this somehow puts certain wheels in motion when this may not be what you really want or that it may be a step towards an adversarial ( one against one) stance.
This is the very service that Your Divorce Coach offers. A space for you to talk about your fears, concerns and issues about your separation or marriage and with the understanding that someone is there to support you in whatever decision you have decided upon. I help my clients assess the path they want to go through, tackle the realities of their decisions, future proof these and help them navigate whatever path they have chosen and yes even if it is to seek counselling in the hope of strengthening their marriage.
Ultimately as a Divorce Coach, I am here for you, your support, your guide. I am available to you as little or as much as you wish. Contact me for further information or for a free 15 minute consultation to see how we can work together.