Getting divorced is a major step in life. It can be emotionally draining while at the same time reshaping the dynamics of your finances. Divorce can also lead to lingering issues that need revisiting over time, such as child custody and alimony. This isn’t to say that divorce isn’t right for some couples. In fact, in many instances it’s the only way to find happiness in life. But before pursuing divorce it’s important to consider the alternatives to make sure that you’re making the decision that is right for you. After all, you don’t want to act too quickly on a decision that you’ll later regret.
What are the alternatives to divorce?
There are several alternatives to divorce, any of which could be right for you and your spouse. Therefore, you might want to consider each of the following:
- Marriage counseling: A lot of marital issues can’t be resolved by the spouses involved because they’re simply too close to the issues to be able to see them clearly. This is where a marriage counselor may be able to help. This individual can help you and your spouse not just talk through issues, but also gain some perspective and create action steps to try to ease tension and salvage your marriage. This is often a great first step before taking any other action on your marriage.
- Legal separation: Divorce is final, which makes it a scary step. You can test what divorce would feel like to a certain extent, though, through legal separation. Here, you and your spouse choose to live apart, but you still share marital assets and debts. Really, it’s a way for you to try living on your own to see if you think you’d prefer that and should pursue it long-term through a divorce, or if you’d rather try to reconcile and save your marriage.
- Collaborative divorce: Not all divorce has to result in contentious litigation. In fact, your marriage can end amicably and on your and your spouse’s terms. Through collaborative divorce, you can work with a number of professionals, such as financial professionals, divorce coaches, and mental health experts to ensure that you’re approaching divorce in a way that is right for you and so that you can secure a resolution that fully protects your interests.
- Mediation: Mediation is another option if you choose to dissolve your marriage. Here, you remain in control of the situation because you try to work out a resolution with your spouse with the help of a neutral third-party mediator. You just have to be careful with mediation that you’re not accepting an agreement that is detrimental to you simply because you want to get the process over with as quickly as possible.
Proceed with your marriage issues in a way that is right for you
When marital issues arise, a lot of people automatically jump to the idea of divorce. They oftentimes let their emotions take hold, which can cloud their judgment and prevent them from seeing the realities of the situation.
But divorce might not be best for you in the short and long-term. Acting on it too quickly could cause emotional and financial damage. That’s why it’s important that you understand the alternatives and carefully consider them. After all, you may be able to find a resolution that is more fitting to your situation. To learn more about divorce and its alternatives, we encourage you to consider researching this area and speaking to those who may be able to give you more insight and guidance.