Tip #1 of the Top 5 To-Do’s When You Want to Divorce

Hi there,

First step in the divorce processMy first tip is very simple.  Be SURE you want to divorce.  If yours is not a situation involving physical violence, emotional violence, addiction or adultery (all of which, in my mind, almost always necessitate divorce), then you are making a choice.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the ability and freedom to make this choice is an excellent thing — you just want to be certain that you are clear about it because divorce is pretty final and it is also pretty tough and expensive.

Over the 34 years I’ve been a divorce attorney, I have seen folks who clearly had made the right choice regarding divorce.  I have run into these people, years later, and they are still glad they made the decision they did.  Then there are those who made the decision without thinking it through, perhaps in a moment of anger when the grass looked greener.  When I meet these people again years later, long after the divorce is done, they are the people who are often unhappy with the way their lives turned out.

To be certain you are making the right choice, I think it is a good idea to first see if marriage counseling will work, or if your spouse will even go to marriage counseling (note that if your spouse refuses counseling, that is a clue that you probably should move on).  Also, you should see a therapist by yourself so you have a neutral sounding board to be sure that divorce is the right thing for you.  And third, listen to to your gut.  If your gut is consistently telling you to get out, and if you feel better when your spouse is not around, then ending the marriage is probably the right choice.

Remember divorce isn’t death, it’s change, and change can be a good thing.

Good luck with your choice, whatever it is.

Best,

Nancy

1 Comment


  1. What great advice for people who are thinking about getting a divorce. My friend is thinking about divorcing her husband, that she has 2 children with, and I think she should really think long and hard about getting a divorce before actually doing it. The last time I talked with her, it sounded like she was being impulsive about the decision, and it sounds like that’s not the best way to go about things. The next time her and I talk, I’m going to relay your advice to her before she does anything rash.

    Sara Welsh | http://www.azsteinlaw.com/CM/FamilyLaw/Family-Law-Mediation.asp

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