One of the hardest conversations I ever have is when someone asks me what I think about the question: “Should I get a divorce?” Although I am an attorney and counselor of law, I am not clergy or a therapist. Divorce may be good for business, however, it is not what we are about. We consider ourselves a tool to be used by our clients to achieve their goals, whatever they may be. We provide people with a voice.
Every marriage ends. It’s true. Approximately 50% of marriages end with “until death do we part”; the other 50% end in divorce. People get married and divorced for many reasons. For some, marriage seemed like “the right thing to do” and divorce because “we fell out of love.”
We do not tell you what to do. Rather, we provide you with options and let you decide on the course of action. What are the options to the question: “Should I get a divorce?”
While every marriage has struggles, some marriages are broken. If your marriage is in trouble you have three choices.
1. Do nothing.
This first option might not be obvious, but it may be a good decision. However, this choice is not without risks. Sometimes, struggles in marriages are temporary events and every relationship has its ups and downs. Doing nothing may provide you with the time to realize that the ups are better than the downs. There may be financial reasons to do nothing. Living together as a nuclear family is more efficient than apart. The cost of food, shelter and luxuries are more affordable, if shared. This financial reality may outweigh the benefits of divorce.
To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.Oscar Wilde, poet
There may be emotional reasons to do nothing. Many people fear change, or being alone. These feelings are real and sometimes paralyzing. While doing nothing may not be considered the “healthiest” decision by others, it is your life. Having children may also be a consideration for doing nothing. However, the risks of doing nothing are also real and should not be ignored. For example, domestic violence does not go away if ignored. Happiness is never created out of nothing, and doing nothing may inadvertently teach your children that it is ok for them to be unhappy too. Notwithstanding, the choice may be right for you and should be considered.
“Real freedom is creative, proactive, and will take me into new territories. I am not free if my freedom is predicated on reacting to my past.”Kenny Loggins, American musician
2. Get help from a third party.
Help from a third party can work, however, this choice will work only if both parties are committed to the process. Marriage counseling or religious leaders can be of tremendous help. Friends are important too, but be careful in relying on friends as they are not always qualified in recognizing and resolving conflicts. Marriage counseling can be an effective tool in addressing communication problems, sexual difficulties and conflicts with children, blended families or infidelity. Before scheduling a session with a specific therapist, consider whether the therapist would be a good fit for you and your partner and his/her credentials including education, licensure, and experience.
Words of comfort, skillfully administered, are the oldest therapy known to man.Louis Nizer, Trial attorney
3. Divorce and divorce alternatives.
When one or both parties are no longer happy, unfulfilled, or satisfied with remaining married, the decision to divorce may appear clear, but the decision requires careful analysis, rational thought and appropriate guidance.
A divorce is the end of a marriage. The assets and liabilities of the parties are divided, alimony is evaluated and issues of custody, child support and parenting time are resolved. A divorce is final and typically non-modifiable. In addition, a divorce is the appropriate fit for the majority of our clients.
The alternatives to a divorce include a legal separation (formally called a separate maintenance agreement) and a post-nuptial agreement. In either agreement, the parties remain married while legally separated or under a post-nuptial agreement. However, the parties can live separate lives or remain living together without wondering how a divorce might look in the future as the issues are resolved in the agreement. The reasons for divorce alternatives vary. They may include financial, religious or otherwise. The agreements can award custody and support, divide property and debts. The parties can also remain on each other’s health insurance.
Every case is different and legal advice must be tailored to the individual’s circumstances and goals.
Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.Alexander Graham Bell, eminent scientist and inventor of the telephone
The three options to the question: “Should I get a divorce?” may not be obvious. However, all three options should be considered before making the decision. Findling Law helps divorcing families successfully navigate one of life’s most difficult chapters by focusing on you. We will help you achieve your goals and establish a plan so you can find happiness again.
About Findling Law
I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades. The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles. We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.
By: Daniel Findling