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Deciding to end a marriage that has lasted many years is such a huge decision.
At times it leaves the victims with feelings of hurt, regret, and lifetime consequences. After serious consideration of the underlying reasons, you may still have to proceed with the divorce process.
It’s always advisable to seek professional help and guidance before breaking the news to your spouse.
This is especially recommended for any of the reasons listed below.
- You fear your safety
- You fear the safety of your children
- You have a domestic violence history
- You believe your spouse will inflict harm on themselves or someone else
What Should I Do Before Telling My Spouse I Want a Divorce?
Most married couples are quick to dissolve the marriage even when facing things that can be easily solved. Admittedly, there are situations whereby divorce is the only solution to unending conflicts within the marriage.
Ending a legal marriage is one of the most painful ordeals a married couple has to go through. It’s essential to get prepared before starting the process. Always remember to remain courteous, kind, and firm while breaking the news.
Avoid shouting at each other or even blaming each other for the circumstances. We also recommend working with a divorce coach throughout the process to become seamless and easy for all the involved parties.
A ‘divorce program‘ much like our site can be a valuable asset for you even with a mutual consent divorce between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Here are some of the things you need to do before breaking the news of wanting to end a marriage to your partner.
a) What’s best for the children
Marriages, where children are involved, are pretty delicate to end. Telling the children that you and your partner want to go separate ways may have an emotional impact on them. You have to approach the matter carefully so that the children don’t get hurt.
As much as it’s wrong to keep children in the dark, you and your spouse should come together and decide what is best for the children. Experts recommend maintaining the lives of the children as before the marriage ended.
b) Hire a separate attorney
It’s common to find couples attempting to hire one divorce attorney as a way to reduce friction as well as cut costs. It’s essential to have a personal attorney who will give unbiased legal advice and negotiate the best deal for you.
c) Get financially prepared
Before even thinking of breaking the news to your significant other, you should put your finances in order. Legal fees can accumulate fast, especially if the process takes a longer time than anticipated. Also, set aside some money to cater for any eventualities during the court process.
d) Update your will
Another important thing you need to do is update your will before announcing the news to your spouse. You see, if death occurred before the settlement regarding the end of your marriage is complete, your ex-spouse would gain power of attorney over your property. If you don’t want this to happen, it’s important to update your will and leave the properties to your loved ones and children.
e) Remember you’re good enough
This is not the time to beat yourself up with thoughts that you could have failed to sustain the marriage. You’re only human, and it’s okay to call a marriage quits if it is abusive and harmful to your physical and emotional health.
f) Secure important documents
Before you even declare your plans to end the marriage, you need to make sure you have copies of your children’s birth certificates, insurance policies, marriage certificate, retirement statements, and more. These documents are important during the settlement of the case as well as after.
What Are Common Reasons for Divorce?
Different studies cite different reasons why people end their marriages. Here are some of the most common reasons why couples may decide to dissolve their marriage through divorce.
Changes in the role of women
Since the 20th century, the roles of women in society have changed. Women are now working and getting liberalized, which consequently changes their role even in the home setup.
Currently, spouses have to divide their roles in homes, such as babysitting, bills, and even basic house chores.
These changes have brought about a rise in the divorce rates, with some spouses feeling unhappy with the arrangements.
Lack of time for family
Seventy percent of workaholism-related divorces, men are the cause while women cause about 30 percent of such. When one spouse works for so many hours, they lack time to spend with their significant others and children.
The spouse who feels neglected may harbor feelings of anger.
Such a person may decide to end the marriage as they think the significant other hasn’t kept their vows to be there for them at all times.
Infidelity in marriages
Unfaithfulness is among the leading causes of divorce in the US and globally. When one spouse commits adultery, it leaves the other partner feeling betrayed and disrespected.
Infidelity is always cited as the last contributor to divorce in the decision to end a marriage, where sex and intimacy have declined.
Illness or disability as a reason for separation
Everyone has a vision of being happily married forever.
However, life is uncertain, and tragedies can happen, leaving one spouse terminally ill or disabled.
Well, the significant other isn’t obligated to assume the role of a caregiver. Some partners will choose to end such a marriage, considering this as a factor in divorce.
In most cases, when a spouse has a terminal illness, disability, or mental illness, the other spouse stays to care for them.
If your lover has been abusing substances, or other terrible addictions, which are affecting your marriage and you feel are a factor for divorce you may be correct in your decision. Substance abuse can lead to many things that will topple healthy marriages.
Some immediate problems might be emotional abuse, verbal abuse, or even domestic violence against you. Most people would rank any type of abuse from their partner as one of the top reasons for divorce. Yet, many won’t act upon it until it’s too late.
Loss of identity
There are situations where one partner is so successful that the other feels like they live in a shadow. In some cases, the women are forced to go home and take care of the children, which makes them lose their social and career status. Such situations may force one spouse to feel the need to end the marriage so that they don’t feel inferior to their partners.
Interference from in-laws
Intrusion by in-laws is a significant cause of marriage dissolution. Admittedly, in-laws are part of any family.
However, in some cases, one spouse may feel attacked by the in-laws to the extent of wanting to end the marriage.
The situation becomes even worse if the other spouse doesn’t protect them from the purported attackers.
Most couples get into marriage expecting that every day is rainbows and unicorns. If things change along the way, you may end up feeling dissatisfied. For example, if you get married to an alcoholic, you may think they may change once you get into marriage. If the alcoholic spouse doesn’t change, the other partner may feel the need to end the marriage.
According to data, all is not lost in marriages because divorce rates have dropped in the last three years, although reasons for divorce have remained the same.
The rates are lower than they have ever been in nearly 40 years. This shows that marriages are becoming more stable despite all the challenges between couples.
Remember, reasons for divorce differ from legal grounds for divorce
As you’ll soon discover, most states nowadays are no-fault jurisdictions so you won’t necessarily need any grounds for divorce to prove a legal basis of your claim.
How Does Divorce Affect Children?
Divorce with kids can be overwhelming for them and their parents as well. The children are mainly affected because they have more dependency on their two parents.
Children are resilient, and with the help, they can overcome a divorce between parents without experiencing any crisis. Research shows that children aren’t affected by living with a single parent.
What affects children are the conflicts they witness when parents separate. It’s therefore important for parents to minimize conflict as much as possible for the better of the children.
Here are some of the most common ways divorce affects children.
Lack of interest in social activities
Children whose parents are divorced tend to become unsocial. Such children demonstrate withdrawal symptoms, and they avoid social activities or interactions with other children.
Poor academic performance
The dynamics that come with the legal separations of parents may leave children distracted. The distraction may make them unable to focus on their studies.
These are some of the scenarios where a once performing student starts recording low grades in school.
Anger and high irritability
Children witnessing their parents ending a marriage may harbor feelings of anger. Such children may direct their anger towards parents, friends, teachers, or siblings. The irritability and anger may not show immediately after the end of a marriage but after some time.
Rebellion and destructive behavior
Most of the people caught up in crime have reported witnessing divorce between the parents.
Children who witness conflicts between parents are also likely to acquire rebellious habits like drug abuse or domestic violence.
These behaviors are usually a result of unresolved bitterness.
Lack of trust in family
Children from divorced families are more likely to separate from their spouses when they get married in the future. Such children develop feelings of distrust towards marriage and the family unit compared to children who have grown in stable families.
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Types of Divorce Granted by Family Courts
Grounds for divorce differ from state to state in the US.
Most courts will not apply the principles of fault but will at times hold one party liable to breaching a fiduciary duty to the other spouse. Some states dictate a declaration of fault by one partner or both, while some states will use either method.
For a divorce to take effect in most jurisdictions, it must be certified by a court before a judge. The courts would give the terms of the divorce unless the couple had prior agreements. The court will take into consideration prenuptial and postnuptial agreements before making the final decision.
In the absence of any agreement, the parties are subjected to a contested divorce which is stressful. Here are the different types of divorces you may have to consider.
With this type of separation, the judge controls the outcomes of the case. This type of divorce is common in scenarios where the two parties cannot agree on anything. The litigation process may take a longer time and is expensive. The two parties have to cater to legal fees and the time the divorce attorney takes to prepare for the case.
Most courts advocate for better methods of agreement, such as divorce coaching, mediation, and collaborative divorce settlement.
These methods are less adversarial and help the couple to amicably end the marriage with solutions to different aspects such as child custody and child support.
About 95 percent of all divorces are uncontested because the parties can agree before a divorce decree. When separation is uncontested, it means the two people have already agreed on aspects such as children and property splitting. The agreement can either be from, in court, through lawyers, a mediation session or out of court.
With this type of separation, the courts don’t need any evidence to justify the end of a marriage. As long as one spouse says yes, the process will continue even if the other one says no. The only requirement is for one of the parties filing for a divorce petition to prove that there were irreconcilable differences that led to the decision.
Although most jurisdictions use the no-fault principle to dissolve the marriage, the family court judge may listen to faults from the other party. The faults such as domestic violence, drug use, infidelity, and financial mismanagement are only used to determine child custody, child support, and property division.
In some states, divorce is only granted if one party or both can prove grounds for divorce. The grounds for divorce before the 1960s were adultery, cruelty, mental illness, disability, or abandonment.
The divorce laws were revised after the 1960s and 1970s to allow divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences or incompatibility. The nature of this process allows the accused party to contest, which can become very expensive.
Getting Started in the Divorce Process
Every divorce process is going to be a little bit different for each family. Sure, some of the procedures are the same for everyone, but what those procedures entail (or if they’ll even take place) will be dependent upon your unique situation, too.
Your state’s divorce laws are going to determine what steps are taken during the divorce process. There is likely to be a series of events that you and your spouse will need to go through as part of the legal procedure.
One common element across every state are residency requirements. Make sure you know if one of the most basics of divorce law has been met in your situation.
You and your partner will need to evaluate types of property you own, like personal property, real property, and if those are then considered in your state under the divorce laws as either marital property or separate property.
A fair division of property is dependent upon understanding how the laws in your state affect property allocation.
Sharing community property, and financial liabilities, are some of the largest divorce issues the majority of couples face during this time.
The majority of couples will have to deal with custody issues of minor children and may lead to unhealthy and unwanted custody disputes for years to come.
Custody disputes are going to rear their ugly head, and financially drain your bank account if you and your partner can’t come to a great understanding upfront. Discuss both physical custody and legal custody with your attorney.
Life After the Final Divorce Decree
Finally, the divorce is over, and probably you thought life would be so much fun. Well, that may not be the case. You may experience feelings of guilt, regret, and even bitterness. It’s now time to move on with life, take care of your physical and mental health.
It is okay to work with a divorce coach during and after the process is complete. Working with an expert will help you get your life back on the right track even without your now ex-spouse.
One of your reasons for divorce was to have a better life. Positive relationship education efforts will be important to reach the great life you want now that your marriage has ended.
How to Heal After a Divorce
Feelings of self-doubt and self-blame are inevitable following the end of a marriage between a couple. In the beginning, it may seem almost impossible to move on and as though the world and everything are cruel to you. All is not lost; it’s possible to get on with life and adopt coping mechanisms to improve your life.
Healing starts from accepting that the marriage already failed. It’s also important to forgive the other person so that you can find inner peace. It would be best if you also prepared yourself emotionally to handle all the challenges you may face now that you’re alone. Having your finances in good shape is also a great way to help you heal, unlike when you have lots of debts to settle.
Divorce is a painful experience for anyone.
There are different types of divorces to consider depending on how well the two of you can agree. Child support, custody, and properties are some of the things a couple has to agree on or involve the courts to help them make a decision. Now that your reasons for divorce have been corrected, it’s essential to know that it’s not the end of everything.
You can still move on with life as long as you accept that the marriage has failed and avoided blaming yourself and have forgiven your ex-spouse.