How Do You Know When it is Actually Time to End a Marriage?
This fundamental life question is one of the most difficult to answer: Is it time to end my marriage? To start, just like no two people are the same, no two marriages are the same. They are all unique and making the decision to end one is not a “one size fits all” proposition. Once the thought occurs to you that you may want to end your marriage you need to take a step back and consider the issues involved. Can we be detached or objective about our own marriage? It’s clearly not easy. However, it is possible to identify issues, concerns and desires in a calm way and make an assessment.
Many couples, coming to terms with a deeply broken relationship seek marriage counseling before pulling the trigger on divorce and if often helps with identifying and addressing the issues involved in a constructive way. But what if the long late-night discussions and professional counseling are not successful – then what?
Is the issue ongoing infidelity, or longtime verbal or physical abuse? Or is the matter less defined, more nebulous, but no less serious for you, such as: poor communication, alienation, lack of trust, lack of intimacy? Are those issues new or have they been long standing? Or, are you tallying up the pros and cons of your years together and coming to the sad conclusion that there is more bad than good? And, if you are the one who is concludes that it is time to part ways, how do you tell your spouse? Will they listen and accept your views, let alone agree with your conclusion to split?
These questions all address the emotional aspect of the decision, but there are other practical and logistical aspects of this decision that also need to be faced and thought through namely, children and finances. What are the parental and financial implications of restructuring your family, becoming a single parent, perhaps leaving your home and changing your lifestyle? Will you be able to afford your new lifestyle and circumstances? Will your children adjust well to the monumental changes in their lives?
If, after you have thoroughly examined all of the foregoing issues and you decide that it is time to end your marriage, there are ways to do so expeditiously and affordably, outside of a courtroom, in a cooperative manner and private setting. That way is Alternative Dispute Resolution, and it may be the better way for you.
The Advantages of Looking to a Mediator
A professional mediator is, first and last, a neutral facilitator of communication and compromise, and does not represent either spouse or advocate for either party’s interests. A Meditator explains the law, helps you identify the issues particular to your family that need to be addressed and helps you come to an agreement that is fair for everyone. The animosity and vitriol of a divorce process with two opposing attorneys who are being paid to fight, is replaced with someone trained in high conflict resolution whose job it is to help you resolve your differences. Litigation stokes anger and fear. Mediation helps to diffuse angry conflict, thereby avoiding less-than-rational decision making which is generally made from a place of anger, fear or a need for vengeance. A Mediator, above all, works to help you make reasoned decisions regarding what is in the best interest of both parties, and the entire family. Their skills are focused on achieving a win-win, not combat, nor any sense of conquest. Through mediation both sides win. Through litigation everyone loses.
Mediation affords both parties the ability to maintain control over their lives and their individual futures by keeping the key issues of finances and children in your hands, not in the hands of the strained and dysfunctional Court system. Bottom line – no one is more qualified to make decisions about how your children will be raised and your assets will be shared than you are!
So, if you are considering divorce and think that meditation may be the better, wiser way to go for you and your family, please contact us at 516-308-2922 to schedule a complimentary consultation.