While thousands of people marry every year, 40% to 50% of those marriages will end in divorce, according to the American Psychological Association. The decision to end a marriage can result from many factors, some of which include race, age, education, income, religion, and desire for children (or lack thereof). Before you make the decision to divorce your spouse, consider these aspects of marriage and divorce.
Some people are 100% convinced their marriage is over, whether it’s because of infidelity, lack of sexual compatibility, or abuse. For those who are less certain about their decision, marital therapy may be a good option. If you love your spouse but feel estranged from them, you might be having miscommunication issues. Depending on how long you two have fostered those issues, a marital therapist may give you the tools you need to communicate your needs more effectively. If you need more physical intimacy (even just an extra hug or two a day), a therapist can help you verbalize the desire to your partner without placing blame on them for its absence. Therapy can be especially useful for couples who have difficulty articulating their emotions or who feel too embarrassed to ask for what they need.
Divorce can be pricey. In Texas, the average cost is around $3,300 without attorneys’ fees. Before filing, make sure you have enough saved up on your own, as your spouse may be unwilling to contribute to the total if he or she doesn’t want to separate. You can also do research to ensure your lawyer will be worth the legal fees. You should also consider the fact that divorce will likely affect your finances. If you and your spouse split the cost of living, you will have to make up the difference of the second lost income. For example, if you or your spouse move out of your shared living space, you both will have to pay the mortgage and/or rent on your own. This financial separation can be especially difficult if you gain custody of any children, as you will have to pay most expenses for them.
There have been two long-term studies on the effect of divorce on children. Both yielded completely different results—one showed divorce had negative long-term effects on children later in life while the other showed no such correlation. Most psychologists will tell you the reaction of a child to a divorce depends on several different factors, such as:
- Mental stability
- Environment pre- and post-divorce
Younger children are more likely to think the divorce is their fault. Older children, on the other hand, are mature enough to understand the situation more. If you can wait to file until your kids are older, it may be a good option for all involved. If you can’t wait, consult a therapist who may be able to help your children transition through this period. Your child needs to understand the divorce is not his or her fault, and it will not change the level of love and attention you provide.
Deciding to file for divorce is an enormous life change. Make sure you’re ready to take the next step forward in the process. If you would like to discuss your options with an Austin divorce attorney at The Law Office of Janet McCullar, P.C., contact us to schedule a meeting today.