Is Divorce Your New Year’s Resolution?

January can be a busy month for divorce lawyers.

Why?

Simple.  When some of you are making resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, or other life changes you may also choose to change your marital status.

It is not that out of place for someone to reflect on what they want to change about their lives and for their marriage to come to mind.  If the marriage is causing you stress, discourse in the home and negatively impacting on you or your family then it may seem to be a no-brainer to make the decision to divorce.

The decision to divorce should not be made lightly. Talk with your spouse to see if he or she feels as you do.  Opening a conversation about your feelings may resolve some of the feelings that you have and alter your resolution.

You may consider counseling – either individual or couples counseling to see if there is anyway to repair the marriage.  Counseling may help you to reconcile with your spouse or to reconcile your feelings with yourself that you are making the right decision.

You should also look at what is leading you to this choice.  Is it your spouse or are there outside factors that are making you feel this way?  Financial pressures, medical crises or caring for an elderly parent may cause stress on the relationship which would not normally be there.  These may be short term problems, or they may be an indicator of the marriage not being healthy.

Divorce is a big step.  The final judgment will impact you, your children, (potentially) your extended family, your financial status and your spouse.  If you make a hasty choice to divorce, it may be difficult or impossible to repair your relationship later if you change your mind.

Once you are sure you want to divorce, you should consult with a family lawyer who can discuss divorce options with you.  Not everyone has to have the typical court divorce.  You and your spouse may be able to mediate or collaboratively resolve your differences.  Mediation and collaborative divorce are ways for you and your spouse to address the issues of your divorce, such as custody, support, distribution of assets and debts and insurance without going before a judge.  They offer privacy and greater control in the outcome.  Litigation(court divorce) is an option that should be considered but may not be the best fit for you and your family.  For some of you, litigation may be the best or your only option.  In meeting with a trained and experienced family law attorney, you can review process options and talk about what may be the right fit.

The new year is a good time to plan what you want to change in the following year.  It’s a time to think about new beginnings.  It is also a time to think about what you want future to look like.  Do you want to be in your current relationship or do you want to make a change in 2019?