If you’re reading this, our guess is that you’re unhappily married. Perhaps someone cheated. Perhaps one of you works all the time and it caused the relationship to crumble. Perhaps you married young and you both grew up and apart. Or, maybe your spouse is battling with addiction or a mental illness. Whatever the reason or reasons behind your unstable marriage, the time to “pull the trigger” may be getting close.
If you feel lost or unsure about your feelings, you’re not alone. A lot of our clients disclose that they thought about or even fantasized about divorce for years before the proverbial straw on the camel’s back was broken. What about you? Are you waiting for that last straw? Are you waiting to catch your spouse in an affair? Are you waiting for the last blowout that makes you pack your bags for good?
If you’re like a lot of people, you are waiting for something. You’re waiting for your youngest to turn 18. You’re waiting for your spouse to leave you. You’re waiting to take one last vacation as a family together, or you’re waiting for one last holiday season...
Maybe NOW is the time to throw in the towel. If you’ve been dreaming about divorce for some time, maybe putting it off is not in your best interests. If you’re teetering on the edge of filing the divorce papers, we suggest that you ask yourself these questions:
- Am I happy?
- Are my children happy (where applicable)?
- Do I think about divorce a lot?
- Why do I think about divorce?
- Am I in love with my spouse? If not, what changed?
- Is my marriage meeting my expectations?
- Has my spouse changed since we got married?
- Have I changed since we got married?
- What does a happy marriage look like to me?
- What traits do I dislike in my spouse? Do they really matter?
- What traits would I look for in a new partner?
- What would I do with my life if I were single?
- Does my spouse make me a better person?
If after answering these questions, you realize that you’re in your marriage for all the wrong reasons, it may be time to finally pull the plug on your marriage. Just because you’re married, it doesn’t mean you have a “healthy” marriage.
Staying married for the sake of not getting divorced is nonsensical. Society no longer stigmatizes divorce and there is no reason why you should stay in an unhappy marriage, especially if it involves emotional or physical abuse.
If you’re ready to get divorced but feel “analysis paralysis,” we’re going to show you how to get the ball rolling. But first, let’s take a closer look at how unhappy spouses experience analysis paralysis.
According to Investopedia, “Analysis paralysis occurs when an individual becomes so lost in the process of examining and evaluating various points of data or factors for a problem that they are unable to make a decision with it.” Can you relate to this?
A spouse often experiences analyses paralysis when he or she is:
- Overwhelmed by the divorce process.
- Financially entangled with their spouse on many levels.
- Afraid of what will happen to the couple’s children.
- Over complicates the decision to divorce when it may actually be quite simple.
- Compelled the think divorce over until they reach the “perfect” decision, thereby delaying the decision for sometimes years.
- In deep fear that they will make the wrong decision.
- Avoiding the decision because they are afraid they’ll make the wrong decision.
If you’re paralyzed by the decision to divorce, don’t fret. Try these 5 tips to help you pull the trigger once and for all.
Tip #1. Contact a divorce attorney from our firm.
Most people are afraid of what they don’t know. Our advice is to contact our firm and schedule a free case evaluation. Once you sit down with us and explain your situation, we’ll be able to shed light on the divorce process and what to expect in your case.
See: Divorce Checklist: What to Discuss with a Lawyer
Tip #2. Gather your financial documents.
Before you even utter the divorce to your spouse, start gathering all of your financial documents and make copies. This includes tax returns, credit card statements, retirement account statements, life insurance policies, auto loan statements, mortgage documents, etc.
Financial statements have a way of “mysteriously” disappearingaftersomeone tells their spouse they want a divorce, so we advise gathering these documents immediately and making copies for your records.
Tip. #3. Get educated on California’s divorce laws.
Knowledge is POWER and divorce is no exception. We recommend getting educated on California’s community property, child custody,child support, spousal support, and debt division laws. The only way to know your rights and responsibilities under the state’s laws is to get educated on them!
Tip. #4. Ask lots of questions.
We get it, you may be afraid of doing the wrong thing or making a mistake. Before you say or do anything that might impact your divorce case, write down a list of questions and continue adding to the list as new questions come to mind. Our advice is to ask us anything and refrain from acting until after you have gotten your question answered.
Tip. #5. Be honest with your attorney.
You may have a few skeletons in your closet, but so do most people! Please be honest with us and don’t withhold information. If you had an affair, or if your son isn’t really your husband’s, or if you tried to hide assets in the past, we need to know about it.
We understand that spouses, especially unhappy ones, can hide things from their significant others, but we still need to know about them. This way, we can represent you to the full extent of our abilities.
Related: You Can Have a Great Divorce, Here’s How
We hope this article helped you feel more confident about your decision to file for divorce. To get things moving, we encourage you to contact our Los Angeles divorce firm today.