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Five Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Filing for Divorce

Many of the calls I receive from prospective clients from people who are considering a divorce or legal separation but haven’t yet made up their mind.  If this resonates with you, consider asking yourself the following questions before filing:

1. Do you still love your spouse?

If a client is unsure about whether to move forward with a divorce or separation, I make the recommendation to try to save their marriage before filing for divorce.  Some attorneys act differently, wanting their clients to immediately file for divorce and later file for a dismissal if there is reconciliation. I want to be sure my clients don’t waste their time and money, and don’t want them to get caught in the emotions of a divorce situation only to realize they’ve made a mistake. If there is any love left, seeking couples therapy or mediation will help you deal with your feelings and will help allow for clarity to the situation.

2. Is divorce just a threat or is it reality?

What is the real reason you want a divorce?  Are you angry at your spouse and threatening divorce out of frustration?  Are things really over?  Are you just trying to get your spouse’s attention by threatening such an action?  Just as above I always recommend to be 100% sure before filing because emotions tend to run wild after a filing.

3. What is motivating you to divorce your spouse?

Divorce will not solve any problems between you and your spouse.  It will create many more in the short term as emotions will run high when you negotiate or fight over property, possessions, and children.  You need to be as mentally ready as possible for the fight that is ahead.  You need to be 100% sure that this is what you want.  Once you are divorced the relationship between you and your spouse is severed, so make sure it is what you want.

4. Have you thought about the consequences (both negative and positive) of divorce?

Not only will your divorce affect you and your spouse but it likely will affect your children, your friendships, your work relationships and your familial relationships.  The divorce process may dominate your thinking and your life.  You need to be mentally prepared to deal with the issues and be confident the divorce is worth what comes with it.

5. Are you able to act in a mature way during the divorce?

What type of divorce is yours going to be?  Many divorces proceed without anger and in a mutually respectful way.  Others lead to resentful and bitter battles between the parties where the fight slogs on for many years.  You need to know why you are filing in order to know if you can handle the divorce the correct way to minimize the stress in your life.

Filing for divorce is just the start.  You need to make sure that it is the right decision.

Call the Law Offices of Joseph Land to figure out if divorce is the right decision for you.  Remember, if you have made up your mind to file, you should file as soon as possible and speak to a honest, experienced attorney to make sure that your case is set up properly.  I welcome the opportunity to help you through this difficult time.

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