In most marriages, there are good and bad times. At some junctures, most couples contemplate the “what if” of a divorce. However, while by statistics and commonly accepted social norms, divorce is just a part of life, there are many “unsaid” considerations that the statistics and societal norms do not account for. This blog explores 5 key legal and social considerations you should make before considering or filing divorce—that you may not hear from any other person but should consider.
First, in almost every case, children of divorce have long-term insecurities surrounding their parents’ divorce. It may well be that the divorce is necessary or even required, but to children it shakes their sense of well-being and security—hallmarks of a well-balanced childhood according to tenets of child psychology. This is key and potential remedies such as considering counseling and other ways to ensure your children’s lives will be okay during and after divorce.
Second, the financial reality of divorce—especially where there are children—is that the cost of maintaining two households is far greater than one. In most cases, both parents will experience a reduced standard of living for at least the near term. This may not seem so immediately or at the time of divorce, but, if you think about it, there is the cost of two sets of clothes to pots and pans and linens. Divorce has potential life-long financial considerations.
Third, divorce usually means that friends, even close family friends, are forced to choose a side. This has somewhat the same social impact for children as adults. The normal school event or social gathering frequently and effectively forces friends to pick the good or bad side. This dynamic and its impact are far-reaching to friends, friends of friends, and family; the old way of socializing, from church events to family gatherings will be different, usually not for the better. Life, social groups, and friends will change.
Fourth, there are a number of issues in divorce that become a focal point of strife that are not considered that can drastically alter life, including physical or mental health. For instance, what is most important to you may also be “most important” to your spouse, ranging from the family pet to an object acquired on a memorable vacation. If both parties love the dog (or treasured item that may be valueless to others) this may bring profound sadness and a sense of lasting loss (pets are property a divorce court must divide and there is no “visitation”).
Fifth, most all other life “wrongs” or “injuries” that marriage was thought or supposed alleviate may become magnified and projected into the divorce process. This can create a situation where one spouse is litigating a legal matter and the other waging an emotional fight. For instance, a spouse “hurt” by an affair may unknowingly want the divorce to drag on to impact the other. This dynamic can make a divorce exponentially more expensive and cause it to go from months to years in duration.
While these are not the normal topics of discussion during a divorce consultation or occur during litigation, they are topics you should think about before filing for divorce, not during a heated legal discussion or cause of despair during the divorce. These are all the realities of divorce and you should think about such when considering or filing for divorce. This will allow you to make the best decision possible in evaluating your marriage and future; and when and if you should seek a divorce.
This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handle divorce, post-divorce, and paternity matters throughout the state of Indiana. This blog post is intended for general educational purposes only and is not intended as a solicitation for legal services or legal advice. It is best thought of as an advertisement.