Are you sure you want to get divorced?
This is the question that New York City divorce lawyer, Jacqueline Newman asks every couple who walks into her office.
Divorce is an emotionally and financially expensive ordeal. The best advice for couples thinking to get divorced is to make an educated decision.
From January through March, the wave of divorce filings is at its peak. Here are five things you should consider before un-tying the knot:
1. Divorce has negative effects on your health
Research shows that divorced couples are at a higher risk for ill-health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, Metabolic Syndrome and chronic health problems.
Feelings of failure and insecurity can also lead to anxiety and depression. A lot of changes come with divorce. You may have to face a new job, new city, your kid’s changing schools, surviving on less money, etc.
2. The long and short-term effects on your children
When you have children, divorce becomes a lot more complicated.
The findings of this study “highlight the importance of listening to the voices of children who have experienced a parental divorce.”
It found that when couples go through a bad divorce, or continue to battle even years after, “children are likely to withdraw from relationships with one or both parents.”
Could you sufficiently minimize conflict and effectively co-parent with your ex?
Imagine the important milestones in your child’s life (a wedding, for instance) and if you could peacefully come together to support the children you have together.
3. The financial burden
Divorce is expensive.
Couples should expect a typical cost of $15,000 – $20,000 for a divorce.
In addition to legal fees, the division of assets and possible tax consequences, there’s also the fear that you could be left homeless or poor.
Nathan Cobert of Cobert Financial Group said the majority of marriages still have a primarily “resource spouse” and a non-resource spouse.”
Consider the fact that there would be a separation of one household into two. Two mortgages or rents, two health insurance bills, two utility bills – everything gets doubled, and that’s a big expense when you’re living off one income.
4. The judge doesn’t care about your personal drama
But the reality is, the judge “is going to care more about a good financial statement than a picture of someone going out of a motel,” notes Stanley Corey, a certified financial planner.
Whatever you have against your spouse would have to take “a hell of a lot to shock the court.”
5. Therapy and counseling could save your marriage
Divorce shouldn’t be something you decide on a whim and it’s not something that should be taken lightly.
The emotional and financial implications may be avoided at a much cheaper cost by working through your issues with a therapist.
Newman advises that “you have to really weigh in what it’s going to look like.”
By seeking the support of a professional, the issues you would face in those sessions with your spouse and a therapist, may be easier to get through than the consequences of divorce.
After taking the time to consider these five things, ask yourself: Are you sure you want to get divorced?