Am I Ready for a Divorce?
Nobody gets married expecting a divorce, so when the thought enters your head, it might seem completely unfathomable. Deciding to seek a divorce is a big decision, and it can be difficult to determine whether you’re ready for such a step. There are several factors to consider before you make any moves, including how this decision could impact you financially, legally, and emotionally.
If you are contemplating a divorce, ask yourself these 6 questions to determine if you’re ready.
1. Can you let go of your marriage?
Sometimes couples may use the threat of divorce as a weapon in an argument, but they may not actually be ready to move on. Before you commit to the legal process, think about what else you could do to make your marriage work, like counseling or trying out a trial separation. If you’ve already tried to fix it, you might ask yourself if you even want to repair your marriage any more. In any case, make sure you think about how real this is and consider whether or not you’re ready to walk away from your spouse permanently.
2. Do you know what the legal process entails?
Once you’ve considered the emotional implications of a divorce, make sure you know what you’re really signing up for before you act. The divorce process is a legal one as well as an emotional one and being prepared for both aspects can help you significantly. Before filing for divorce or deciding to ask your spouse for a divorce, do some research. Read about the divorce process online and call a few attorneys in your area to talk about your situation.
3. Do you have all the paperwork you need?
It might seem premature to get all your legal documents together before you’ve even initiated the divorce process, but you should at least be thinking about what filing you’ll need to do. There are several different documents you’ll need, including property deeds, marriage certificates, passports, tax information, property documents, income statements, account information, and much more. Gathering all of this could be challenging after you begin the divorce process, especially if you will be the one leaving the marital home. Also, if you suspect your spouse will react poorly to your news, they might try to prevent you from acquiring the documents you need. In short, thinking about what you need before your divorce officially begins could save you the hassle of figuring it out later.
4. Have you prepared for the cost of a divorce?
The divorce process can be costly, and if you think you’re ready to take that final step, you need to consider the financial implications. Legal fees are one thing, but you should also consider how your daily expenses and income will change once you split. If you and your spouse both work, consider how you’ll now live off of a single income, and how your income alone will support your living situation. If you stay in the marital home, will you be responsible for the mortgage, or if you leave, can you afford rent?
For stay-at-home spouses who do not work, this can be particularly challenging. The court can grant you temporary spousal support to help pay for your expenses during the divorce process, but you should still consider how your finances will change before you make that call.
5. Are you ready for the consequences of a divorce?
Once you get a divorce, much of your life will change. Your living situation and finances will be some of the biggest changes, but there will also be other big alterations in your personal life. Your dynamics with friends and family members may change, especially those who were close to both you and your spouse. And, most importantly, if you are a parent, you must consider how your kids’ lives will change for the better and worse and what you need to do to prepare for that.
6. Do you know how the divorce will affect your kids?
If you have children, you need to consider their well-being before you file for divorce. There are many reasons not to remain in an unhappy marriage for the sake of your children, but you still must take the time to think about how your actions will affect them. Think about how it will be to co-parent with your spouse as single parents and consider what you can do to help make this change as smooth as possible. Think about what co-parenting techniques you can employ and what commitments you and your spouse can make to one another, as parents, for the sake of your children. During and after your divorce the two of you can commit to not fighting in front of your children or not bad-mouthing the other parent. Decisions like these can make your journey as co-parents much easier for you and your children.
There are several factors to consider before you file for divorce, and one of the best sources of information is your attorney. Before you make any big decisions, talk about your situation with a family law attorney you can trust.Contact McKinley Irvin at our Oregon office to meet with our divorce lawyers.