SHOULD I GET A DIVORCE?
Separation and divorce are often impulsive reactions to a triggering event. Be it general ongoing unhappiness, the devastating shock of an extra marital affair, the fallout from financial pressure, or just the final rejection of your husband or wife’s mother, it has been my opinion for many years that too many married couples are way too quick to throw in the towel and head to a lawyer’s office.
It has also been my opinion for a long time that the average person spends less time choosing a spouse than a new car. In fact that is why a lot of people keep their cars longer than they keep their husband or wife. The average unhappy and ready to separate person is unwilling to invest in the cost of marriage therapy and yet is freely willing to hand thousands of dollars to a lawyer. The relationship is not worth trying to save. It is easier they think, more exciting, more compelling to trade in the old for – what? – the unknown. Nothing, many people say, will be better than him or her.
So what should you do if you are unhappy. No-one has the magic answer to everyone’s problems but these are the steps I recommend you follow:
- Sit down with your partner and have a reality conversation. Be honest about your unhappiness and your real feelings.
- See a marriage counselor together. Many people, men more than women, find this a difficult thing to do. Is your marriage not worth laying you feelings out on the table. Get some professional advice and guidance.
- Go and see a lawyer. And make sure you are seeing a family law lawyer. Someone who spends his days in real estate or corporate law is not going to give you good advice. Find out your rights and obligations. Find out how difficult the process will be for you – and how much it will cost.
- Rethink what you are about to do. In particular if there are children involved. They are the ones who suffer the most from separation and divorce. Try and keep them in mind in the process.
- Be civil. There is absolutely no need to go to war over the breakdown of a marriage. There are many, many ways to disagree and to argue over houses, bank accounts, pets and children and still retain your dignity.
The average divorce is emotionally driven. People seem to throw away their common sense. It is only after they spend most of their life savings and even going into serious debt to pay a lawyer that they finally realize how simple this could have been if they acted like civilized people right from the start. Treat the process like a business deal and it will work out fine for you. Treat it like WW III and you will spend years recovering not just financially but emotionally as well.