Perhaps your marriage has been going through a rough patch for awhile, and you think that it isn’t going to get better. Or, maybe you’ve experienced a betrayal, such as the infidelity of your spouse.
For whatever reason, you’re thinking of ending your marriage.
Divorce can give you a fresh start if your marriage is dead. However, you should be absolutely sure that you have exhausted all other options before you decide to divorce.
Ask yourself these important questions before you file for a divorce:
1. Am I sure? While this is an obvious question, it is still an essential one. Unless you are completely sure that you want a divorce, you should try to salvage your marriage. Have you considered attending marriage counseling with your spouse? Have you consulted with an experienced Charleston divorce lawyer to determine what may happen regarding the division of your marital property, alimony, attorney fees, and – most important – child custody. Before you make a mistake that could ruin your life and the lives of your children, you should seek advice from a marriage counselor and a Charleston child custody attorney. Divorce may not be the “right” answer for your children or you.
2. Are we just going through a phase? Most marriages have their ups and downs. It’s important that you understand the difference between a bad marriage and a difficult period for your marriage. Take a moment and ask yourself: Do I like spending time with my spouse? Do I respect him or her? Does my spouse make me feel good about myself? If your answer to one or more of these questions is “Yes,” you should probably consult with a marriage counselor before you make a final divorce decision.
3. Have I tried everything else? If you are unsure, you might try separating from your spouse for a brief period. Some space might give you and your spouse a better perspective on what your lives might be if you get a divorce.
4. Have you discussed your concerns with your spouse? Talking with your spouse can help each of you determine whether you should seek a divorce, legal separation, or counseling.
5. Do I want a divorce because of someone new? If you have feelings for another person, you should determine why. Is it because your marriage is irreparably broken, or is it because you are bored with your spouse? You should consider whether your marriage can be fixed before starting a new relationship with someone else.
6. How will a divorce affect our kids? You should ask this question to make sure that divorce is what’s best for your kids. Divorce is hard on children as well as adults. The good news is that many kids bounce back quickly after their parents get a divorce. Children, who grow up with divorced parents, often fare better than those who grow up in the middle of constant fighting between their parents. A well-qualified child counselor or an experienced Charleston child custody lawyer could provide you with more information on this important subject.
7. What does my financial picture look like? Most people consider only the emotional aspect of divorce. Few think about how divorce will affect their finances. This question is crucial. You should ensure that you have information on your family’s finances —including income, debts, and expenses — before you file for a Charleston divorce.
8. What do I expect to happen after my Charleston divorce? Having realistic expectations from the outset will help you be happier after you are divorced. Make sure that you understand what could happen regarding alimony, child support, child custody, division of your marital property, taxes, and many other complex family law issues that arise in a typical Charleston divorce or child custody dispute.
9. Do I have a support system in place? Before, during, and after your Charleston divorce, you should seek support from close family, friends, counselors, and your church. Divorce can be emotionally devastating, and post-divorce life can be lonely. Make sure that you have people on whom you can lean for support.
If you have asked yourself these questions and are convinced that you want a divorce, please call me at 843-284-1016. As an experienced Charleston divorce and child custody attorney, I will guide you through the divorce process as quickly and painlessly as possible. Working together, we will help you make a better future for you and your children in Charleston, Daniel Island, Goose Creek, Isle of Palms, Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, Summerville, or West Ashley.