Coming to a divorce can be a harrowing decision. Many couples struggle with coming to the conclusion, weighing many factors, including personal and financial ones. If kids are involved, a difficult decision can become nearly impossible. Yet, nearly half of all married couples eventually seek divorce. With that decision can come a slew of headaches, from custody plans to alimony. So in most circumstances, couples should discuss the decision in depth before committing to undo their commitment.
According to the, there are several important questions--eleven, according to the paper, but for couples seeking a divorce, that number may as well be a million--that couples should as each other before terminating their marriage. Below are some of the most pressing ones.
- Have you communicated clearly your concerns and desires?
Even though most couples believe they communicate clearly, too often, words fall on deaf ears. Psychologists and other experts recommend making your spouse aware of your concerns, and reiterating them if it feels like you're not being heard.
- Is there a way to save the marriage?
This may seem like an obvious question, but it can spark couples to reexamine their circumstances. If there is a way to save it, what would it be? What actions would each person need to take to make sure it survives?
- Can you handle the financial burden of a divorce?
Divorces are inevitably linked to your bank accounts. There are numerous considerations, and it might be worthwhile to meet with financial advisers or attorneys to figure out if you can realistically afford to take action.
- What can be done to minimize the harm on the children?
From thinking about custody to support, there are a myriad questions about how a divorce will affect your kids. Most parents remain co-parents even after a divorce, so it's worth discussing potential plans prior to initiating proceedings.
Making a difficult decision easier
None of these questions will make it significantly easier to divorce. However, there are ways to alleviate the stresses of the process, including seeking mediation, or engaging in collaborative divorce. If you are certain that divorce is in your future, it may be worth exploring alternative options.
For the complete list of questions, visit the New York Times.