By Punam Denley
Today, 40-50% of first marriages worldwide end in divorce. Interestingly, the statistic for second marriages is even higher, with 50-60% of them ending. This shouldn’t be taken lightly. Deciding to divorce someone is every bit as serious as deciding to marry in the first place. Just like marriage, divorce is a legal contract, but more importantly, it also has the same sort of personal and family consequences that can last a lifetime. Sure, sometimes the welfare of everyone affected by a relationship will be best served by a divorce, but sometimes, a couple’s issues can still be resolved. Whenver possible, that’s a better plan, so be sure to think about your situation before deciding to split with your spouse. There are a lot of potential consequences, so give these things some thought before you accept divorce as the best course of action:
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1. Your children: If you have any children, the impacts of the divorce on them are incredibly important. Occasionally, as in abusive relationships, it can benefit children if their parents split. However, more subtle relationship problems between adults can often go unnoticed by children, making a divorce more difficult in these circumstances. After all, you may no longer be husband and wife, but you’re still Mom and Dad. Although the children of divorced parents are not condemned to have psychological problems, it still is essential to put them at the center of your deliberations.
2. Your happiness: Have you considered if getting a divorce will make you happy in the long term? People in general do better and are happier when they’re in a relationship, and sometimes even very serious problems can be resolved by having a significant other. Keep in mind the emotional, financial and psychological implications of ending your marriage when deciding if a split is really a better choice for you than trying to sort out the problems.
3. Professional help: Marriage and family therapy can be invaluable services when you’re looking at issues as serious as divorce. Even if you ultimately feel that your marriage can’t be saved and decide to divorce, these kinds of therapeutic processes can be very helpful in managing the issues surrounding the situation, especially if you have children. Professionals will help you weigh the pros and cons of your situation, in addition to helping you sort through things with your spouse if you choose to stay together.
After you’ve considered all of these details, you might still decide that divorce is the best option to ensure everyone’s happiness. But if you do, be ready to live with the consequences of that decision. Divorce is an option, and it might be the best option for you, as long as you’re clear that it is not the only one.
Punam Denley is a Solicitor at Blanchards Law, which specializes in separation and divorce, cohabitation and family law matters.