Many couples make a joint decision to investigate divorce. In other situations, circumstances arise that lead one spouse to consider divorce. While some couples and individuals have a firm understanding of divorce and have made the decision that divorce is right for their family, others may still have questions and could be considering divorce as one of many options for the next step in their relationship. If you are thinking about pursuing a Florida divorce but have not yet made the decision that it is the right path for you to take, you may want to explore some of the alternatives to divorce that can help you work on the dynamics of your relationship and even get a better understanding of what divorce could look like for you. Ultimately, the decision to divorce is a personal one and only you know if it is the right choice; for some people, exploring alternatives to divorce can make a big difference in the decision-making process.
If you have not decided in your heart and mind that divorce is right for you and your family, then you may want to spend some time considering alternatives to divorce. These might include marriage therapy or mediation. Both of these options can help you and your spouse approach disagreements and misunderstandings in a positive and productive way. Both can also help you improve communication in your marriage, which can be especially beneficial given that a lack of communication is often cited as one of the major reasons for divorce.
It is important to remember that mediation is not just a tool used during the divorce process. When couples find themselves unable to agree on certain issues or on how to move forward with major decisions within the marriage, mediation can be a tool to offer clarity and understanding. Sometimes, an impartial mediator can bridge the communication gap between spouses in a way a therapist cannot. By providing a neutral perspective, couples can arrive at mutual agreements that allow them to better understand each other’s position and even potentially create agreements on exactly how to go forward in the marriage.
Often therapy, mediation, or other approaches to communicating about issues in your marriage can be the first step in identifying those issues. While counseling and mediation are not right for every couple, there are a number of different alternatives that you can consider based on the unique circumstances surrounding your marriage. Even in cases where marital counseling can help you identify issues in the marriage, you may need to take additional steps to address those concerns beyond therapy.
Take Stock of Your Financial Health
If you are in a dangerous situation either physically, emotionally, or mentally, then you should take proactive steps to ensure your safety. This might include involving law enforcement or utilizing some of the many resources that exist to help individuals who feel stuck in these types of negative relationships. However, if there has been a breakdown in your marriage for reasons other than those that have a serious impact on your health and safety, then finances must be an important consideration. Your financial health does not necessarily have to prevent you from getting divorced, but it must be an important consideration. In many circumstances, your financial health will have a significant impact on the timeline of your divorce.
If you think divorce is possible in the near future or even further down the line, you want to have a good understanding of your finances as well as those of your spouse. Understanding the financial consequences and challenges of a divorce can sometimes help you make the decision about whether pursuing divorce is the right move for you. In some cases where finances are a concern both for day-to-day reasons and potentially as the source of conflict in a marriage, there are steps you can take as an individual and a couple that could improve your financial situation and help you overcome the obstacles your financial health may present in a way that does not involve divorce. Often, credit counseling or other debt-related services can help you and your spouse communicate more openly about your finances and avoid the pitfalls that may be leading you toward divorce.
Sometimes, separation can be an option, too. Separation is a way to live separately from your spouse for a period of time that you control. You have the options of maintaining separate residences and finances among other things. These arrangements can help both spouses handle issues they might be facing as individuals or as a couple. When things like substance abuse or addiction is part of why you are considering divorce, separation can enable a spouse to find the help they need and work on issues that may be damaging a marriage.
Separation can also help individuals think more clearly about the actual effects of divorce and make a more informed decision about whether divorce is right for their family. While Florida is one of a handful of states that does not recognize legal separation, mutually agreeing to terms of separation can sometimes be beneficial, depending on your circumstances, and you do not need court approval to explore the process. However, there could be important legal consequences that arise as a result of moving out of a primary residence or engaging in other aspects of what would in other states qualify as separation, and it is important to discuss those potential issues with an experienced Florida divorce attorney before making decisions that could curtail your rights if divorce enters the picture.
Consult with a Divorce Attorney
No two marriages are alike, and no two divorces are alike, either. Divorce is a major life decision, and an experienced Florida divorce attorney understands how significant the effects of divorce can be for a family. If you are considering divorce, it may be helpful to talk with a Florida divorce attorney to get a better understanding of the role divorce can play based on your unique, individual circumstances. If you have questions about the Florida divorce process or even how some of the alternatives to divorce can help you make the right decision for you and your family, contact Scott J. Stadler to schedule a consultation today and find out more information about the impact divorce may have for you based on your circumstances.