10 Questions to Ask Before Filing for Divorce

While marriage can be incredibly rewarding, it is also a lot of work, and even the strongest couples can encounter ups and downs. But when the bad times start to outnumber the good, you might start to consider ending the marriage.

Divorce is not something to be taken lightly and it’s important to take a hard look at your marriage and yourself before making any decisions. Asking the right questions before contacting a family law attorney, mediator, or marriage counselor may prove to make your divorce more amicable, and could potentially save your marriage. Here are 10 questions you should reflect on that may help determine if it’s time to file for divorce:

(1) Is this your last resort? If there is a way to save your marriage, what would it be? Don’t just decide to end things; take the time to reflect on things you both may be able to work on to save the marriage. Make a short list of what you think you need to do and a similar number of items your partner needs to do. Both spouses should do this exercise to open the dialogue on what could be done to save your marriage before deciding on divorce.

(2) Picture your life on the other side. Is it better? Are you happier? How does it impact your family? Florida generally equally divides assets (and debt). Florida family laws are geared toward both parents (if healthy and safe) sharing children. The current standard applied in Florida is always what is in the children’s best interests.

(3) Is your health or safety in danger if you stay in your marriage? If the answer is yes, file now! You should also consider whether your situation meets the legal criteria to file a domestic violence injunction.

(4) Are you dealing with an addict that refuses to get help? You can’t change someone. If they aren’t willing to change, it’s not going to happen, and you may need to let go of the guilt in order to help yourself.

(5) Is this something therapy may help resolve? If so, find a qualified therapist in your area.  At the very least you can walk out of your marriage feeling like you tried. Leaving guilt free is a good way to go.

(6) Have you asked your spouse what you can do to make his or her day better? This simple question could help save your marriage. Showing caring & concern can go a long way especially if it’s reciprocal.

(7) Is what is dividing you greater than what unites you? You may not be able to get over an affair, money issues, etc.

(8) Would a cooling off period help? The state of Florida does not have a legal separation like many other states but perhaps some space (separate vacations, living apart, etc.) could solve some issues.

(9) Have these problems existed in many of your past relationships? If so, leaving your spouse likely won’t change a thing.  Look inward.  

(10) Do you still love him or her? Even if the answer is yes, divorce may still be the right choice for your family. There are many reasons that staying married is no longer an option, but those emotions don’t just go away.

If you decide divorce is inevitable, then choosing the right divorce attorney is essential. Choose one that is the right fit for your situation. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight & don’t bring the gun to the knife fight.  If things are amicable, find an attorney that will help to keep them that way if possible.  Consider an amicable or collaborative approach.

Choosing the right divorce lawyer to guide you through your divorce is one of the most important divorce-related decisions you’ll make. Tampa divorce attorney Christina Anton Garcia and the team of divorce attorneys at Anton Garcia Law have the experience you need to Represent Your Best Interest.