The Reality of Divorce
If you are unhappy in your marriage and contemplating divorce, you are probably thinking about what that may mean for you and your family. Various studies show the proportion of people who regret getting divorced to be anywhere between 20 – 80% and so, it is crucial to give the dilemma, due diligence.
There is so much confusion and uncertainty around divorce and it is very difficult for anybody to tell you where you will end up. Added to that the numerous urban myths and horror stories that abound and it all makes it very difficult to make an informed decision.
Of course, some divorces are born from incredibly difficult situations and so, divorce is really the only option. If you find yourself in that position then this article is not for you. However, for many, there is great uncertainty as to whether to divorce or not. Balancing up on one side, the dissatisfaction with the relationship and the hard work it would take to fix it with on the other side, the reality of divorce, is an important and necessary part of the process.
So, what needs to be considered?
Divorce is extremely hard. Even the most amicable of divorces are stressful and painful. Ending a marriage is rarely the easy option.
Those going through divorce often feel guilt, loneliness, sadness, anger, resentment, hatred, abandonment and so on. These are not positive feelings!
Remember as well that the process can be lengthy, you may have to sit with these emotions for some time.
Try to be clear-headed about what you are wanting to achieve. The old adage about the grass not always being greener is very true here. Are you being realistic about what you want from life? Do you have a clear plan of how to achieve it and how to avoid taking the negative aspects of your current life with you? If yes, then the temporary pain of divorce will be manageable. If not, perhaps ask yourself why you are divorcing actually?
There are so many myths around how assets are split between spouses, how much maintenance may need to be paid, how pensions are accounted for and so on.
The problem is that nobody can categorically tell you where you will end up. A good solicitor can give you some parameters to work within and they will certainly help you to manage your expectations but until the consent order is signed, nothing is guaranteed.
Of course, the bottom line is that you are splitting one household into two. It is probable that your standard of living will be impacted. If there are children to care for, that impact could be felt for some time.
In the cold light of day, part of your analysis needs to be, can I afford to divorce? Where will I live and how will I pay for that? What income will I have and is that enough? How will my children be supported? And so on.
The days of “taking him to the cleaners” and “keeping you in the style you’re accustomed to” are gone. As are those of hiding assets and income.
Finances are clearly not a reason to avoid divorce but it is so important to have realistic expectations of what you will leave the marriage with and how you will finance your life going forward.
Children are impacted by divorce. If divorce is your preference, then you will no doubt find many articles stating that children will thrive better with divorced parents rather than with those in an unhappy marriage. Nevertheless, all children want their parents to stay together and when that need is not met, it has a significant and negative impact.
Of course, there are many things that as parents you can do to mitigate that impact and do the best for your children given the circumstances but be under no illusion, there will be ramifications for your children.
If on balance, you cannot avoid this, then be cognisant of it as you proceed. Having a good relationship with the ex is so very important for the emotional well-being of your children. Be fair and be kind. Put your children’s needs ahead of any animosity you feel towards your ex-spouse and you will minimise their pain.
Friends and Family
Likewise, friends and family are usually forced to choose a side and probably push aside the relationship with the other party. You may be close to your in-law family and it is likely that this relationship will wither too.
It is likely that you will lose friends and family.
If you have considered all of the consequences and still conclude that divorce is for you, then you will have armed yourself with realistic expectations and this will make the journey that much easier for you.
Remember too, that divorce has many positives aspects not least of which is a shiny new future full of possibilities.
If you want to make the most informed decision then a divorce coach can help you look at your unique situation and consider what life after divorce might look like for you. Contact me for further information.