Studies show that married people are the happiest people on Earth. That said, 35-40% of marriages end in divorce, and the divorce rate among people who marry before age 25 is around 75%. What can we glean from these few statistics? We can conclude that when marriages “work”, it is a great thing for all interested parties, but a considerable percentage of marriages don’t work, especially amongst people who married too young.
If your marriage is not working for you, you ought to consider a few things before you end it:
- Divorce is final: Separation does not have to be final, but it typically proceeds to divorce.
- Your spouse’s understanding: Once you tell your spouse that you are separating from him/her, your spouse may hear you as saying you want a divorce. You cannot control your partner’s emotional or reactions. Even if your spouse understands that you are expressing a desire to separate only, your spouse may say that they wish to divorce. Your spouse “one ups” you.
- Your kids: They will be affected by the divorce forever. Do you have a reasonable parenting plan in mind, or are you looking to erase your spouse from the kids’ lives?
- Your safety: Can you verbalize your desire for separation and/or divorce safely? If not, what does your safety plan look like?
- Your feelings: Will you feel guilty for the rest of your life for destroying the family unit? What processes do you have in place to deal with your emotions?
- Your standing in your community: Will life be miserable without reliance on the relationships you have forged with your spouse? Will you be shunned by friends, in-laws, etc.?
- Your financial future: Can you support yourself without contribution from your spouse? If not, does your spouse have the financial ability to contribute to your support? For example, two women can have identical marriage “stories” in that they are stay at home moms with primary residence of 3 kids all under the age of 11, but the first woman’s husband earns $75,000/year and the second woman’s husband earns $225,000/year. Both women are entitled to child support based on the income of their own husband. However, Wife #1 can expect spousal support of about $300/month while Wife #2 can expect spousal support of about $3,000/month.
You have considered the items above, and the other considerations that go into your own personal calculus, and you have decided to end the marriage. Now, you need to understand your rights and obligations. That is where I come in. Practicing law since 1993, I have the skill and experience to guide you through the separation and divorce process armed with reasonable expectations and creative solutions.
Practice area: Family Law
© Marlene Kazman, 2021
This item is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice. Informed legal advice should always be obtained about your specific circumstances.