Written by Craig Cherney

When is it time to get a divorce?

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Divorce is an enormous life decision. It is often difficult to know the right timing. There are no cut and dry answers that tell you it’s time, but rather a series of signs and feelings.

While many people want to work things out, it isn’t always an option—especially since both parties have to be dedicated to making changes. If you are struggling with the decision, here are a few ways that can help you determine if it is time to get a divorce.

Signs It is Time to get a Divorce

The signs it is time to get a divorce will be different for each situation. Here are some things to consider when making the decision that is right for you:

Counseling isn’t effective

If you’ve gone to a trained counselor, but things are not improving or even worsening, it may be time to look at taking the next step toward divorce. Counseling takes commitment by both spouses, and if either you are your spouse is not giving your all, it may mean the relationship is over.

Abuse is involved

If there is any abuse involved in your relationship, it is likely time to get a divorce. While physical and sexual abuse are the most frequently talked about, verbal, financial, and emotional/psychological are also types of abuse that are witnessed in marriages. No one deserves or should put up with any abuse. The longer one remains in an abusive marriage, the harder it can be to know what is normal and what is abuse.  Speak with friends, family, clergy and trained mental health professionals to help evaluate your situation.

The trust is gone

Trust is an essential element in any healthy marriage. If trust doesn’t exist, it can become a huge issue. When one spouse is hiding things, lying, or cheating, it can create a massive breakdown in trust. The question becomes, can you recover the trust, or is it too far gone?

You are more concerned with other people’s opinions

Maybe you’re worried about in-laws, or what your friends and family will think. In the end, their thoughts should not be the deciding factor. Only you and your spouse know what your relationship is like. You may have to deal with comments and criticism if you decide it’s time to get a divorce, but a counselor can help you work through the feelings. Also, note that those who truly care will support you in whatever you decide to do. It’s your life, you only get one turn on this planet, make best efforts to secure your own happiness.

You’re afraid of the financial or familial implications

If the only thing keeping you in your marriage is the kids or money, then it may be time to reevaluate. With children, decide if your marriage is a good example of what you want them to strive for. If it’s not, then divorce might be an option. As for finances, while it can be frightening to strike out on your own or think about how divorce will affect your standard of living, remember that a healthy, happy life is far better for your well-being. Sit down and create a budget. It can be the empowering step you need to take towards a divorce.  You were making it on your own before the marriage, you will make it on your own again.

In the end, there is no right answer for timing. Often, it’s a general sense—you’re ready to leave, ready to give up, or ready to move on.  Sometimes it is just time to rip the band-aid off and experience the initial pain for the long term gain.

What is the Next Step?

It’s not always easy to think about the signs or ask yourself the right questions. That’s when it can help to consult with a licensed professional. If you’re thinking about divorce, contact a BestLegalChoices.com professional to discuss your options.  Knowing your legal rights and obligations can often help you move forward to file, or refocus your efforts on reconciliation.

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