Avoid delaying decision to divorce

The time leading up to a decision to pursue a divorce can be trying, particularly for couples with children and those who have been together for many years. Deciding to divorce is never an easy process, even under difficult circumstances. Even though moving forward with a final decision can be tough, couples should remember that moving quickly and avoiding delay can be the best way to ensure that they move on with their lives as cleanly as possible.

First, in the time immediately after one soon to be ex-spouse mentions that he or she wants a divorce, it is not uncommon for the other person to be surprised, hurt and confused. After a bit of consideration, however, most couples come to the realization that divorce is, in fact, the best choice for them. The longer a couple delays this decision, the more divided they become, which can make initiating and following through on the divorce process more difficult.

Second, greater delay in the divorce process can complicate matters because both spouses may find themselves in new relationships. These "rebound" relationships are a normal part of the post-divorce healing process, but they do not have a tendency to be long lasting. The presence of new, short term partners can cause unnecessary stress and make the process more contentious than it needs to be.

Third, delay can also make it easier for family members from both sides to get involved. Family members are, of course, not likely to give neutral, unbiased advice and their opinions can escalate matters unnecessarily. They may have the best of intentions, but their attitudes toward certain matters can negatively impact the ways in which the divorcing couple interacts and negotiates about the terms of their split.

Finally, delays in filing for divorce can make the process more expensive, which can cause financial stress and deep seated resentment between the parties. The reality is that many couples, despite divorcing, must interact after their relationships end because they have children together or special relationships with other family members. An essential part of moving on is making sure it is possible, if necessary, to get along with an ex-spouse, which is only made more difficult when divorce proceedings are heated.

If you are thinking about whether to file for divorce, speak to an experienced family law attorney for more information. Once you have made your final decision, it is important to avoid delay as much as possible.