Considering Divorce? Key Questions To Ask Before You File

When you are facing the final steps of filing for divorce, it's important not to rush. If you try to rush the process, you may not have the time that you need to fully deal with the emotional effects of the separation and life change. Understanding the potential uncertainty ahead may allow you to face the process with more confidence and ease. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to determine if divorce is the right decision for you. This can give you confidence in your decision before you become one of the estimated 40 percent of Canadian marriages projected to end in divorce.

How do You Know it's the Right Decision?

Filing for divorce is a major decision. It doesn't only affect you and your spouse, but also your children, your families and friends. You may find yourself wondering if divorce is the right choice, particularly when you think about the upheaval that you and your loved ones will face.

The decision to divorce should not be an emotional one. No matter how amicable the process ends up, you may struggle with the division of your economic resources and possessions. As emotions run high, you both may find that it is difficult to separate yourself from the emotional investment in the relationship.

Evaluate the relationship from an objective point of view. Are you both still invested in making it work? If you no longer have the desire to be a part of the relationship, or your spouse has made it clear that he or she is no longer interested in working it out, those are good indicators. Considering these things first will help ensure that you aren't lashing out emotionally, only to find out afterward that you could have made it work.

Is Your Marriage Just Not Working?

If you have reached a point where your marriage isn't working and there's no chance to salvage it, divorce may be the best option. Be careful, however, about placing blame on either of you. Unless one party has done something that has directly contributed to the end of the marriage, such as cheating or abuse, it's in your best interest to recognize that it is a joint situation.

Placing blame on your partner in an attempt to deflect your own emotions is going to cause increased hostility and may make it harder for you to come to terms with the process. You need to work through your own emotions related to the divorce in order to approach the process logically. Take time to talk things through whenever possible so that you can both address your own emotions.

Are You Ready to Make the Changes that Divorce Requires?

Before you file for divorce, think about the things that you can expect to change, including your finances, your level of responsibility and your living environment. Make sure that you are emotionally and financially ready for the changes ahead. If you are served with divorce papers, take some time in the following days to get things in order, because you'll want to be prepared as early as possible.

Think about any unique changes that you'll need to deal with. For example, if you and your spouse used to split the responsibility for getting the kids to and from school, you'll need to make sure that you either continue that process from separate residences or the custodial parent is capable of handling it.

What if You Aren't The One Who Wants the Divorce?

When you find yourself on the receiving end of a divorce petition, it can be a very difficult thing to process emotionally. Not only does it put you on the defensive, but it may leave you feeling as though you have no control over your current environment.

If you were not the one to initiate the divorce, you'll need to separate yourself from the emotion of the relationship and view the situation as objectively as possible to help you come to terms with it. Before you make an attempt to try to salvage the marriage, make sure that the relationship still exists the way that you knew it. You may be feeling betrayed and be holding on to a memory of a relationship that isn't really there anymore.

The more prepared you are before you file for divorce, the easier the process will be for you, both financially and emotionally. Even if you just suspect that your marriage is in jeopardy, you should ask yourself these key questions and talk to places like to determine if it is time to move on or if there's something that you can do together to salvage the relationship and renew your commitment. By evaluating your marriage with these questions, you can be confident that the decision  you make is the right one.