Second Thoughts on Divorce
It is not unusual that people who are thinking abut getting a divorce might feel they are stuck in a relationship that is just not working any longer. Many people get trapped feeling that their relationship may not be worth all the trouble it will take to fix it. Perhaps you and your spouse have already grown apart from each other, but you are considering one last attempt at salvaging the situation. Whatever your thoughts about getting divorced are, perhaps you should examine the results and options that can arise when dependant children are involved.
One thing that is not hard to figure out is that children are often subjected to a lot of unpleasant experiences in a family breakup. While being a witness to the constant arguing and bickering that occurs in a failing marriage is never fun, the consequences of a nasty divorce can be worse on kids. Aside from the length and cost of a court trial, the dissolution may result in a permanent lower standard of living for both parents and the children. The income once used to support the entire family will have to be split up in order to support two separate homes, and all the attendant costs of rent, utilities, gas and food. There will also be more costs associated with setting the kids up at, and shuffling them to and from, both homes. As devastating as the financial consequences of a protracted court divorce can be, the emotional and mental consequences it can have on the children is often worse. Ongoing conflict between parents can damage the kids far more than the financial issues.
Even if you decide to represent yourself in court and save the cost of an attorney, you will still be paying out in the significant amount of time, effort and research required to handle your own divorce. Then there is also the chance that you may not get the same results a lawyer would get when handling your case. Divorce settlements issued by the court can be unpredictable and result in unpleasant surprises for both spouses (and the children) when custody issues are disputed. Leaving the decision up to the divorce court can result in dissatisfaction for all parties.
The alternative to litigation in a court hearing is negotiation and compromise with your spouse on your own or with the guidance of marriage/divorce professionals like mediators, counselors and family planners. If you can resolve your differences outside the courtroom, you may be able to reach an accord and move forward. You do not have to get divorced to make important decisions involving the home and children, you can do it while you are still married. You may find that living separately is the best solution at the time, and that a full divorce is not necessary. Whatever you decide, if you can remember to put the interests of the children first, you may be able to reach agreements that are fair to everyone involved.