Should I get Divorced?

pexels-ketut-subiyanto-4308054-300x200People are always asking me if they should divorce. My stock answer is that the decision to divorce is personal and that I am not qualified to make that decision for the client or even make a recommendation. Everybody has a different view of what a good marriage should look at and it is not mine to Judge. I do when the reasons for divorce seem like an argument that will blow over or the parties are older ask the client to think about options and give it a week to let things settle down and the realities of Divorce hit home. I am aware that not all marriages are built to last and that happiness like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Having said that I do have some views of my own about when a Divorce makes sense and when it does not. I am not a mental health professional. I am a lawyer who has practiced in this field for most of my career after a near-death experience ( from boredom) as a tax lawyer.

Often the decision to Divorce has been made by your spouse and you really have no option but if the choice is yours here are some things to think about. If you are in a destructive relationship and your spouse is physically or mentally abusing you should get out. Abusive people do not change. It is not your fault. If your spouse cheats on you and you will only reconcile if they don’t stop cheating now and forever and you can not live with a spouse who keeps cheating, get a divorce. My experience shows that once a cheater always a cheater.

If your marriage leaves you so unhappy that each day is drudgery or you find yourself wishing you were dead so the marriage can be over get the divorce. There is life on the other side.

On the other hand, if you think that divorce is a ticket to happiness think hard about it. Divorce may buy you a fresh start but it does not come with any guarantees. You could be as unhappy as a new single as you are married.

If your spouse has made bad business decisions and you want a divorce to separate yourself from those decisions it may make sense but if you want a Divorce to recapture money already lost you are not likely to succeed.

I know Joe Biden and Donald Trump have us all thinking that 70 is the new 35 ( youngest age you can run for president) however if you are over 70 Divorce is rarely a good idea. There are estate planning issues and monetary issues that would likely complicate the Divorce. Someone may need special care. Cutting lifetime accumulated assets in half when earnings are likely at an all-time low may not make good economic sense. If you are in a second marriage and have some wealth you might have a Prenuptial Agreement that has negative consequences. Two do live cheaper than separated ones. Divorce is usually an expensive luxury for the elderly. Never Start a divorce in the heat of an argument let tempers cool and analyses your choice with a cool and steady eye.

If you have a lover and would rather be with them, be with them! Life is too short and staying married for the good of the kids never works out. The kids just see all the fighting and studies show they will mimic that dynamic in their own marriage.

The point is that Divorce can be a new beginning or a terrible mistake. It guarantees nothing beyond you being separated from your spouse. Sometimes that is what is wanted and needed however before you pull the trigger be sure about what you want and why. It is a cliche but it takes one to divorce and two to stay married. Once you start if you change your mind your spouse may have decided that Divorce is their best option and then there is no turning back.