Deciding to get a divorce is complicated from a relational, emotional, and financial perspective. It is not easy to decide to end a relationship that was the center of your life for an extended period. On top of that, you have the familial in relation Alas aspects of getting a divorce that may end up impacting your decision, as well. Finally, we have to consider that there are financial impacts to getting a divorce that many people do not automatically consider when the topic of divorce comes up.
To start with, deciding that you want a divorce means approaching the case in one of two basic ways. The first way would be to catch your spouse by surprise and file for divorce without informing him or her first period the second method would be to have a discussion about it with your spouse to give him or her a heads up on your filing. The discussion could also dovetail into a talk on whether or not a reconciliation through the therapy or counseling process is a possibility for your family. If you and your spouse have never had a conversation on this subject before then you may be surprised to learn that he or she was maybe more or less willing than you anticipated 2 percids into a divorce with a productive attitude towards settlement.
The reality is that the toughest part of the process from an emotional perspective would be simply beginning the conversation. Many people assume that they will be able to move forward with a divorce after not having spoken to their spouse about it first period logistically, however, you may find that it is simpler for you in your spouse to just have a conversation about what divorce means for you all so that you can plan on how to approach the case together. This is especially true if you have children. Being able to present a united front to your kids about what divorce means and what it does not mean is especially important.
Presenting a united front to your children about the divorce
One of the major benefits to being able to discuss the end of your marriage with your spouse is that you all can work to get past the emotional problems and difficulties of ending a marriage in hopes of approaching the subject of your children with a more businesslike attitude. The simple truth is that while your marriage may be ending that does not mean that the relationship you have with your spouse is coming to an end. Rather, you and your spouse will soon be embarking upon a second act to your relationship in which you all act as partners in raising children together as Co-parents.
While the tone and general nature of the relationship will be quite different than marriage, you all still bear certain responsibilities when it comes to raising your children together. Well in many ways parenting your children with an ex-spouse may be easier than parenting a child with your spouse the reality is that marriage helped you and your spouse to coordinate your efforts because you two were living in the same household. While you may have had disagreements on various subjects when it came to parenting your children simply being together and seeing certain events unfold in real-time assuredly helped wall to be on the same page on how to deal with circumstances as they arose.
Now you all are coming face to face with the realities of living in separate households. There is a real risk of you doing one thing while the children are at your home and your spouse doing something completely different when the kids are at his or her home. Children of divorced parents are notorious for playing parents against one another to get what they want. You should be mindful of this and should take precautions to avoid putting yourself in situations where there are no coordinated efforts when it comes to parenting.
This is why I think it is critically important for you and your spouse to be able to discuss the divorce and your next steps together rather than head into the process with no plan and no sense of direction when it comes to how to handle your case. If your reaction to the divorce would be to remove your children from your home when your spouse was not there, not inform him or her of where you were going, and then file for divorce that would be laying the groundwork for a very difficult circumstance indeed.
On the other hand, think about how great it would be if you and your spouse were able to have a rational discussion about the divorce case along with your plan on how to work together during and after the divorce 2 parent your kids as best as you can. Imagine the benefit to your children for them to be able to see you and your spouse working together under difficult circumstances. Not only would your children be able to benefit in the immediate sense from having a mom and dad to parrot them but they would also be able to see that it is possible to work together with people that you do not necessarily see eye to eye with on every subject.
In the best of worlds, you and your spouse will be able to physically sit down with your kids together and have a conversation with them about the divorce and what it means to your family. Bearing in mind the ages and maturity levels of your children you can attack this issue together in the hopes of preventing problems arising between your children and yourselves. You never know how children are going to react to a divorce and you do not want to put yourselves in the position of having to protect against problems in divorce and problems with your kids.
As far as I can tell, there is almost no way for you and your spouse to be able to make the divorce as productive and healthy for your children as possible if you all do not discuss getting a divorce at the end of your marriage. Simply choosing to go in your separate directions rather than choosing to talk with your spouse ahead of time leaves plenty of room for misinformation and bad feelings to seep in. I imagine that this is something that you will want to avoid and should seek to do so with the help of an experienced family law attorney.
Talking with your spouse ahead of the divorce means less time in divorce
Another benefit that I think is worth mentioning regarding the importance of speaking to your spouse about the end of your marriage is that couples who can talk in advance about their divorce end up spending less time getting divorced in my experience. This is because by keeping the lines of communication open you all can work through problems that may confront you in divorce and arrive at solutions sooner rather than later. Instead of having to rely upon attorneys, judges, and mediators to help bridge this communication gap if you and your spouse can establish a tone of open exchange of ideas early in the process then that may lead to greater opportunities for settlement within the divorce itself.
Those divorces that are based on communication and negotiation rather than constant fighting typically are shorter in length. This isn't to say that longer divorces are bad if they need to be or if they help you to accomplish your goals but everything else being equal nobody wants to spend more time in a divorce if it can be prevented. I can see that having a conversation about divorce at the end of your marriage would not be fun but that the benefits of your doing so can lead to a more prosperous future for you and your family.
An important thing to keep in mind is that every time you and your spouse have to consult with your attorneys and use your attorneys to negotiate with the other person means that more money will be spent on attorneys fees. You can think of your attorneys like a machine or a toy who requires quarters every time you want to use him or her. The less you need to use the machine the less you need to spend. By having a conversation with your spouse at the end of your marriage you can sidestep many issues that would otherwise require intervention by the courts and by an attorney.
I think there is also a benefit to being able to understand where your spouse is coming from in the divorce process. If you are deciding to get a divorce that is a huge decision. Being able to talk to your spouse about that decision can dispel rumors, conjecture, or assumptions about why the divorce was filed and what you seek to accomplish. Not knowing the motivation of your spouse in a divorce, and not being kept informed of your spouse's intentions to get divorced can be extremely disconcerting
How do you have a discussion with your spouse about divorce?
This is why you’re reading today’s blog post. Learning some tips on how to have a conversation with your spouse about getting a divorce could help you gain some invaluable tools that can be utilized to begin this transition period into divorce. A big part of this discussion is coming to an understanding that not every person reading this blog post has the tools in their toolbox to have an effective discussion with your spouse about the end of your marriage and getting a divorce. That does not mean you don’t have other tools that can help you in getting a divorce. What it does mean that this particular subject may be especially difficult for some of you there.
What can you do to improve your chances of being able to communicate effectively with your spouse about the end of your marriage? This is the question that you need to be asking yourself. Are you able to recommend counseling to your spouse? Would he or she be willing to attend with you so that you can try and save your marriage and, if not, begin the transition into working towards an amicable and productive divorce? Counseling is a great opportunity for you to begin to develop skills that can help you communicate better not only with your spouse but also with your children.
On the other hand, sometimes all it takes for you to have this sort of difficult conversation with your spouse is to simply decide that you are going to get it done. Sometimes we can sit and wait to have a difficult conversation simply because it is not going to be pleasant. So what do we do in that case? We procrastinate. We delay. We do anything to avoid having that conversation. The result is rarely favorable for us or our family. You can spare yourself the heartache and anxiety associated with this type of conversation by ripping the band-aid off, metaphorically speaking, and having the conversation sooner rather than later once you have made up your mind to pursue a divorce.
At the back of your mind, you can begin these talks with the knowledge that you can get divorced from your spouse without their permission. It does not take two to tango, at least when it comes to divorce. No matter how your spouse reacts to what you have to say you should know that you can still get divorced from him or her. Their reaction may be the final nail in the coffin of your marriage relationship. If you have made up your mind on getting a divorce then you may do so.
Another difficult part about having this sort of conversation with your spouse is making up your mind that you believe it is the right thing to do. For instance, if you are having second thoughts yourself on whether or not to move forward with the divorce then you may feel unsure and hesitant about speaking to your spouse about it. After all: why would you wanna have a painful discussion like this with your spouse if you are not even sure that it is the right thing for you and your family?
This means that you need to take the time to think about the process and whether or not is right for you and your family. This sort of consideration is more than mere self-reflection. This means performing a more detailed analysis of your family circumstances in order 2 decide on whether or not but divorce is actually what you need or if there are other ways to accomplish something for your family where change may be needed. I cannot tell you how many people that I have come to interact with within my time as a family law attorney who did not put very much thought at all into the process of getting a divorce but preceded anyway.
I'll conclude today's blog post with a couple of thoughts about speaking to your spouse about divorce when violence has been an issue. None of the advice that I have listed out in today's blog post is necessarily intended for people who have had problems with violence in their marriage. If you are unsafe in your home Internet comfortable with having a discussion about divorce with your spouse then it is not your obligation to do so. The bottom line is that it is possible and beneficial to have discussions with your spouse about divorce but only if you can maintain your safety.
If you do not believe that you are safe with your spouse but believe that a divorce is necessary you should begin to concoct and strategize an exit plan for yourself and your family. This could be something as simple as speaking to a trusted friend or family member about staying at their home for some time while you work to hire an attorney and file for divorce. Preferably this would be someone that your spouse is unaware of where your residents could be kept secure and safe.
The other part of this is making sure that your children are kept safe. If you are still living with your spouse and plan on leaving then you need to have an exit strategy. This exit strategy comes into play especially when you find yourself in a circumstance where you may be in the house with your spouse. In that case, having a change of clothes ready to go for yourself and your children, medications, car keys and a place to go to are all essential. You can work out the details of protective orders and temporary restraining orders once your divorce begins with the help of an experienced family law attorney.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family and your circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.