What are Your Options Before You File for Divorce?

Aug 8, 2012 by

Filing for a divorce should never be taken lightly. Dissolving a marriage is a serious decision that often leads to unforeseen or unintended consequences. Before you file for divorce, you might want to consider some other options that are available.

Seek Counseling

Try counseling to resolve differences, either as a couple or individually. Relationships go through many stages. Often the daily stress of work or child rearing creates tension within a relationship. Learning to deal effectively with that tension and working through any underlying issues that are causing problems in the marriage may eliminate the desire for divorce. If not, being on better terms with one another will allow the divorce to proceed amicably.

Reduce Debt

Many couples experience serious conflict within their marriage due to financial issues. Perhaps there simply is not enough income each month to cover monthly expenses. In many cases, one or both partners may spend too much, incurring debt that puts a strain on the relationship. Unexpected expenses, due to health problems or car repairs for instance, can also create significant financial stress. Regardless of the reason, as the bills pile up, angry words are often exchanged leading to further deterioration of the marriage.

Divorce is seldom the answer to financial problems. Dividing assets and maintaining two households instead of one rarely improves the financial position of either party. Consider working together to pay off debt before filing for divorce. With less financial strain, the idea of divorce may be less appealing. If not, all aspects of being newly divorced will be easier with less debt.

Discuss Reality Not Fantasy

Unhappy couples often fail to realistically view what effect the divorce will have. Especially when children or pets are involved, it is imperative to calmly project what the future holds. Pretend you are helping a friend rather than warring with a mate. Discuss what will happen to the kids and the dog. Also, realistically assess how property will be divided. Seek mediation, if necessary, to work through these issues ahead of time. The more details that can be agreed upon by the couple, the smoother and less expensive the process will be. After coming to agreement on these issues, a couple may even realize that divorce is not as attractive as it once was.

Divorce is really the option of last resort. Before you begin filing for divorce you should take the steps needed to ensure that it is the only viable option you have left.


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