But is it really over?
Here are 5 questions that you should ask yourself before deciding to see an attorney.
Have I done everything I could to save the marriage?
Walking away from pain may seem like the only option you have now with divorce feeling like the easiest transition but it rarely is. Divorce can be painful, even more so than a marriage – are you ready to face that pain?
It’s so easy to blame the other person for a marriage gone wrong but the truth is a marriage is a “we and us” thing. Are you absolutely positive that you have done all it takes and that there are no other options available to you at this time?
- Do I still have feelings for my spouse?
It may seem like an obvious question but when tempers flare and emotions run amuck, feelings of love take a backseat and you may not fully realize the extent of your care for your spouse. If you still feel something for that person, the marriage is still salvageable.
You will need to decide whether or not your relationship and the feelings you still hold for the person is indeed worth throwing away.
Note* we do not advocate remaining in a physically abusive relationship where your life or the lives of your dependents are in danger, even if you do have strong feelings for said person.
- Am I fully prepared for a divorce?
Have you read up on the process of divorce proceedings in your state? Are you aware of how it works, what is expected of both you and your partner and what you will experience? Some of these factors will most certainly help you to understand whether or not you are ready to end the marriage.
Preparing for a divorce also means preparing for what will happen after the divorce. Have you thought through the new circumstances that you will face with your now ex-spouse?
- Am I prepared for a changed life and added financial responsibility?
While we won’t encourage anyone to stay in an unhappy marriage solely for the money, we do encourage all our clients to fully comprehend the financial undertaking that divorce presents. Not only will you be paying for the process of divorce itself, each party will now no longer have a joint or shared income and assets.
This is a particularly important question for those who want to end the marriage for financial reasons. You may be taking on way more financial responsibility than you anticipated. Budget, research and know your limitations as a single individual.
- Am I using divorce just to make a point?
As strange as it sounds, it’s not uncommon for a divorce to become an ultimatum. In our experience, it’s an ultimatum that always disappoints. If you’re planning on using your divorce simply to get your partner to concede to whatever you want him or her to do, you may be in for a surprise.
While a divorce ultimatum does work for some, it usually works because the petitioner is 100% committed to dissolving the marriage legally. Sometimes this kick in the butt is just what the marriage needed. However, if the intention is not to actually go through with the proceedings, but to just go far enough to put some fire into the spouse, you may end up getting exactly what you asked for.
Further questions to ask:
Am I using divorce as an easy scapegoat?
Am I using Divorce as a way to get my spouse to react?
Am I ending the marriage in order to end my pain?
Will I get the desired outcome from ending my marriage? (i.e. will my expectations really be met post-divorce.)
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in family law and estates. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. Brad has a special expertise in working with high asset divorce. You can read more on this topic by visiting our divorce blog. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.