It’s a sad trend that many marriages in the United States eventually end in separation and divorce. Few people look forward to the divorce experience as it is emotionally and financially draining for all parties involved and can negatively impact the families’ children. However, it is often necessary to allow an individual to move forward in a healthy and happy manner.
For lawyers, even those who specialize in family law matters, divorce is a challenging area of law, regardless of whether it is litigation or settlement discussions. Attorneys often see the pain in their clients’ eyes and the emotional impact when they hear their clients’ stories. The end of a marriage is something few people plan for and the experience can be embarrassing, humiliating, and expensive**.
Divorce should not be taken lightly. It is a major life decision that can affect the rest of your life and the lives of your children. At the Family Legal Advocacy Group, LLC, we realize the impact of divorce and want our clients to examine deeply their marital relationship before taking the next step to dissolve this relationship. Before initiating the divorce process, ask yourself what is your motivation for the divorce and are there any actions you and your spouse can take to save and strengthen your marriage? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Could your marriage benefit from counseling? Marriage counseling conducted by a trained, licensed marriage counselor can assist you and your spouse in working through your problems, even if they are serious. The counselor will also guide you in determining whether counseling is an appropriate approach to address your marital issues or if separation is a better alternative. We are always happy to provide recommendations for marriage counseling in our area.
- Is your decision to end your marriage based on an emotional reaction to recent circumstances? Ending a marriage is too serious a decision to be based solely on emotion. Consider the facts about the state of your marriage over its entirety, in addition to your emotions, and weigh the pros and cons before beginning the divorce process.
- What is your motivation to end your marriage? If your motivation is that you are currently unhappy, bored, frustrated and have temporarily sought out emotional or physical support from another individual, then seeking a divorce may not be the best solution to your current problem. Individual counseling may be the solution. If you can strengthen yourself, you may also strengthen your family unit allowing you to reconnect with your spouse.
- What are the consequences of divorce? Obviously, divorce means you will no longer be in a marriage relationship with your spouse; however, it also means separate households for your children, property and custody agreements and possible financial hardship. It also does not terminate your co-parenting relationship so, even if you divorce your spouse, you do not divorce your co-parent. Do you really want a divorce or do you want the marriage you used to have?
We understand that, after considering the above, many individuals reach the conclusion that their marriage does need to end, for a variety of reasons. The following are warning signs that should be taken seriously as they are not acceptable in a marriage:
- Abuse of any kind: Is your spouse verbally, physically, sexually or financially abusing you?
- Physical, emotional, or financial abandonment: Has your spouse abandoned or withdrawn from the family or is he or she not providing any physical, emotional or financial support?
- Untreated addiction: Does your spouse have a clinical addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, food, etc. and refuse to recognize the addiction and get medical treatment for it?
- Adultery: Does your spouse have affairs or is he or she physically or emotionally connected to other individuals?
- Dishonesty: Is your spouse consistently untruthful or do you lack trust in your spouse?
If you answered yes to any of the above-stated questions, then you may want to consider meeting with a family law attorney so you can have any questions answered and understand your options. At Family Legal Advocacy Group, LLC we are strong proponents of education; specifically, we educate our clients so they can be active participants in the decision-making process including the first decision of whether to seek a divorce.
There are times when divorce is the only option and will strengthen your family by providing the opportunity for a new beginning or you and your spouse may be better parents in separate households than you currently are together.
Family Legal Advocacy Group, LLC has experienced divorce attorneys who can meet with you and help you determine if separation and divorce is the best option for you and your family. Call us at (410) 884-0400 for a professional and compassionate consultation. With offices in Columbia, Towson, and Rockville, we serve clients in Howard, Baltimore, Harford, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties. We are here to educate you and advocate for you and your family with the goal of being a healthier and brighter future.
** Read more about the cost of divorce here.