Divorce and Co-parenting//

3 Things to Consider When You’re Contemplating Divorce

A divorce expert weighs in on the factors to think about when making the challenging decision.

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Shutterstock

Making decisions is hard. Many times, even bringing yourself to make a decision is a difficult decision in and of itself. Now that the holiday season is over, people find themselves re-evaluating their choices and making resolutions for a better and brighter future. Some might decide to eat healthier or start a new exercise regime and others decide it’s time to ditch the unhappy marriage and get a divorce.

The decision to leave a marriage can be bigger than the decision to get married in the first place. It’s certainly far less exciting then picking out a venue and big white dress/ tux. If this is something you have decided (or are deciding whether to decide), here are some things to consider in your decision-making process:

CUSTODY :
50/50 custody is becoming the norm now.  Gone are the days of “every other weekend and Wednesday dinner” parenting access schedules.  More often than not, parties are sharing equal time with their children.   So, when you are contemplating divorce, you need to be prepared that your child will most likely not be sleeping under the same roof as you are every night.  If you are not ready to accept that – you may not be ready to divorce.
PRO TIP: Use the nights without your children to explore your own self-growth.  Work late at the office or go out with friends…. Enjoy your “me” time.

FINANCES :
Are you in the financial dark?  Are you aware of your marital assets/liabilities and expenses?  Sometimes one spouse may be in charge of the finances during the marriage and the other spouse takes on other household responsibilities.  However, after a divorce you will be in charge of your finances (which can be exciting and scary at the same time).  You do not have to have an MBA from Columbia to take on this new role, but you do need to be ready and educated. 
PRO TIP: If finances are not within your comfort zone, seek help from professionals to set up a roadmap for financial freedom.

FRIENDS:
Who Choses Who?  Will John and Patty really choose your side in the divorce? Be prepared to reevaluate your friendship circle.  You’d be shocked to the find out the many (and varying) opinions your friends have on your marriage. Some might be in line with your reasoning, but some might surprise you. Even if your friend is on his/her third divorce, it does not mean he/she understands what is happening in your particular situation.  Even the best of intentions can lead to bad advice.   
PRO TIP:   You need to be prepared to ignore the advice of those who really are not qualified to give it.

Divorce can look differently for many people- much like marriage.  Just remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side and no one’s marriage is as perfect as it seems on social media. Divorce is an emotionally and financially expensive process and it is not easy to turn back from.  Be sure that you are walking into the divorce with your eyes wide open and you are certain this is the step you want to take.  All decisions, especially one as important as ending your marriage, needs to be an educated and well thought out decision.

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