Deciding to Divorce: It’s OK to Get Cold Feet

Hi there,

Some of the heaviest divorce filing times of the year are February (after Valentine’s Day) and March. I see a lot of new clients but also quite a few clients who I had met with before, but weren’t ready to move forward with divorce when we first met.

It’s OK to get cold feet. It’s OK to change your mind, too. And if you are the initiator of the divorce you should be doing some heavy-duty soul-searching before you initiate the process. It’s one of the hardest decisions you will make.

Often it’s actually good to take the time, if you safely can, to process whether or not divorce is really what you want to do. Many times folks decide to delay divorce until the kids have left for college. Unless you are going to be the spouse paying alimony, there may be no specific economic reason for filing sooner rather than later. You should carefully consider your economic relationship. For example, would your spouse seek to hide money, should you delay filing?  Or do either of you have an immediate expectation of a considerable inheritance?

The mere act of considering divorce is very tough. It is important to understand what the reality will be before you take any final steps. Sometimes the economic reality of divorce can spur reconciliation.

None of the above applies, of course, if there is ANY kind of domestic violence going on, or even threatening behavior. I think too, that absent addiction, violence or the real threat of violence, folks with kids should give marriage counseling a good try before going forward. The emotional, economic and social costs of divorce are so high for children that it is important to be very clear that the marital problems are irreconcilable before beginning the divorce process.

If you do decide to move forward with a divorce, here are some tips to help you get the ball rolling.