What are Your Divorce Alternatives?
A divorce can be a devastating event for everyone involved. When a marriage is in trouble, divorce should be regarded as the last resort after all other avenues have been exhausted. It should not be seen as a quick and easy way out of a difficult relationship. As long as both parties involved have some interest in salvaging and hopefully preserving the union, there are always alternatives to breaking up a marriage.
Marriage counseling from a licensed therapist or clergy member is a practical and very effective means of bringing hope to a faltering relationship. Regardless of the issues plaguing the marriage, a competent, compassionate therapist is often able to illuminate the situation and help both husband and wife understand each other’s perspective. A therapist or counselor’s involvement encourages honest discussions and brings new insight into a couple’s problems.
Another, lesser-known, option for couples facing an acrimonious split is a divorce mediator–a neutral third party who sits down with the spouses and works to defuse the tension and anger in the relationship. His or her presence allows the partners to calmly discuss and work out the issues affecting their marriage. A divorce mediator is not a licensed therapist but rather someone who is able to remain neutral while guiding the couple towards achieving their own satisfactory resolutions.
If divorce truly seems imminent and unavoidable, a divorce mediator can help feuding couples come to an agreement on contentious emotional issues such as spousal support and child custody arrangements. The mediator can also help ex-spouses work together successfully as parents after the divorce. His or her services can greatly reduce the stress and anxiety of courtroom divorce proceedings.
Many troubled marriages can be salvaged with continued effort and dedication. Sometimes, a temporary break from the other spouse may be all that is needed to bring new life to the relationship. Time away from grating daily conflicts and routines often give people a new perspective on the relationship. A trial separation may allow a chance for reflection and strengthen both partners’ resolve to save the marriage. Couples should always try a temporary separation before permanently giving up on the relationship.
Regardless of the reasons for marital discontent, there is almost always hope for bringing joy and love back into a marriage. Divorce should truly be considered as an option only when all other attempts to save the union have failed. Fortunately, there are an abundance of services and divorce alternatives available to those who are willing to try them.