Is Divorce Always the Answer?

couple in divorce mediation session

Are you facing the tough and emotional question, “Should I get a divorce?” If you or someone you know is contemplating that very question or asks you for advice here are some extremely important things to think about and ponder a moment before anyone takes action.

To start, divorce is not an easy, quick answer to all your problems. If you have any significant length of time in your marriage, have children, a business together, or many complicated investments, it may become very hard to unravel your life together. Divorce takes time and can be very expensive and contentious. When lawyers get involved suddenly you are on a freight train to nowhere and no one is coming out the winner. Many people are quick to make the divorce decision without really thinking through the consequences. Do you really have a cause for divorce or is it something that can be fixed with a little or a lot of TLC applied to the marriage? Would a little bit of counseling solve these issues instead? Would a little bit of help from doctors or counselors solve issues of depression or lack of desire or motivation?

Being successful at a marriage is not an innate talent. It is learned. And some of us did not have good teachers or role models and others just need a little more time to get the lessons right. Sometimes we need to be shown or taught what it means to be good at marriage, to be good to someone and to have that person be good to you.

Financially, divorce can be devastating; sometimes the lawyers are the only winners, racking up fees as you tear apart someone you once loved and battle over the children. Sometimes people feel that once their spouse goes to a lawyer even if it’s just to talk and get some initial advice that they have to continue down that path. Even if you’ve said you want a divorce, it’s possible to try and work on your marriage first before making any decisions.

Children also do not usually thrive in a divorce situation. They can often become confused with the shuttling back and forth, the new situations, maybe even new schools, and wonder what they have done to deserve this fate. While it’s not always the answer to stay together solely for the kids, planning and communication between you and your spouse can help ease the issues the children face.

So back to the question of “Should I get a divorce?” Let me ask a few questions of you. What would it hurt to slow down a bit, take a step back and contemplate trying to work out the anger and the issues? Could you perhaps, with a few small, or maybe even large steps, change and improve the great partnership you already have? Or have you already tried to work out the anger and issues present and are you ready to explore options for dissolving your marriage amicably?

As mediators, we have worked with many families on the brink of dissolution because they are at their wits end as to how to solve their issues. A solid, non-emotional third party can often help bring out the issues in the open, work toward a mutual solution and therefore solve many thorny family issues. A new path opens, a new way of moving forward is forged and a marriage can be saved and made stronger. Or, a mutual love and understanding can be reached that maybe it’s time to move on and the anger and anxiety can be mitigated by first talking out the issues.

Think solidly of what your actions might be and keep San Diego Family Mediation Center in mind. We’re here to help you and your spouse understand the various options and see what’s best for you. If you choose to work on the marriage and not divorce, we want to support you in any way possible. If on the other hand you decide that you are both done we can discuss moving forward with the divorce in mediation instead of litigation.

by: Jennifer Segura

Jennifer Segura with west coast family mediation center
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