What to Do When You’ve Decided Divorce is the Only Option


Nobody marries with the intent to divorce, but a great deal of people do indeed need to dissolve their marriages. If your marriage has reached that point, you’ll know. Especially in cases of forms of financial, emotional, spiritual, sexual, or physical abuse, or where children are experiencing abuses, it’s critical to be safe. And sometimes, a marriage just isn’t healthy for all parties. What do you need to do when divorce is your only option?

Talk With Your Partner

Regardless of who has done wrong, in most states there is a 49/51 split of child custody, with primary being the decision maker. Child support usually comes to the person with primary childcare responsibilities, and alimony is due if a couple has been married for over ten years. Remember that the court does not refuse child custody for most mental illness diagnoses if they are cared for, nor for adultery on either part, regardless of how angry the other spouse might be. Half of holdings, retirement, and household goods are yours as well. Attempt to mediate your own paperwork prior to lawyering up.

Get a Lawyer

Family law is particularly emotional and traumatic for all involved. Many want to use the law to punish their soon-to-be former spouse for leaving, or to prove somehow that they were right. This will be of no use, and only is more expensive. If you are divorcing a person who is intent upon punishing you, for instance, your divorce could run into fifty or sixty thousand dollars, or more if it goes to trial. Attempt to mediate, first, even if you both must make allowances.

Remember the Children

Protecting children is key, but this includes protecting them from your own anger and resentment. You must choose to love your children more than you hate your former partner, which can be difficult if you are feeling betrayed. It takes great courage to not project upon your child the feelings you have for your former partner. Children are very smart regardless of their age, however, and will internalize the anger you show around them.

Divorce is a time to rediscover how to heal your mind and body. Finding a trauma informed therapist is a great plan. Protect the children at all costs. Get a lawyer if all other options have failed, and attempt to peaceably communicate. Your fiscal and mental health will be grateful.

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