Ending a marriage is a very important decision that could impact your life in several ways for years to come. Unfortunately, many people decide to divorce abruptly and later regret their rash decisions, while others endure toxic marriages for much longer than they should, potentially experiencing long-term psychological harm and persistent stress because of their circumstances.
Every marriage is unique, and every couple ultimately has different reasons for divorce. However, it’s vital to know the most common causes of divorce and the most commonly cited reasons divorcing spouses give for ending their marriages. If you are unsure whether it’s time to consider divorce, think about whether your marriage reflects any of the following warning signs of a marriage broken beyond repair.
One of the most commonly reported reasons for divorce in the United States is infidelity. Most married couples expect exclusivity in intimacy with each other, and when a married spouse violates this trust, it can be irreparably damaging to their relationship. Some married couples that experience infidelity can overcome these issues and reconcile, while this isn’t an option in some relationships. If infidelity is a firm dealbreaker for you regarding your marriage, it’s safe to assume that if it happened once, it would likely happen again, and ending your marriage is likely best for both you and your unfaithful spouse.
Money is one of the most commonly cited causes of arguments in marriages. When couples disagree about their shared finances or one spouse makes important financial decisions without consulting the other, these events can easily escalate to heated disputes that erode the affection between the spouses. Additionally, shared financial burdens are likely to be stressful for both spouses. Over time, financial burdens can make maintaining positivity within the marriage very challenging.
Budget counseling, working with a tax professional, and investigating loan consolidation could help you and your spouse work through your financial woes together and ultimately become stronger as a couple. But unfortunately, some spouses take financial advantage of their partners, and this breach of trust can be irreparably harmful to their marriage.
Domestic violence continues to be a persistent problem throughout the United States, negatively impacting the lives of adults and children in various ways. When your spouse has engaged in any form of domestic violence, it is vital to put your best interests and the interests of your children first and take appropriate legal action against your spouse. Unfortunately, many victims of domestic abuse endure their situations far longer than they should because they do not know the legal options available to them.
Any form of domestic abuse can lead to divorce and criminal prosecution of the abusive spouse. In addition, anyone engaging in domestic violence will be liable for the victim’s civil damages, incarceration, fines, and loss of any custody or visitation rights they may have had. If a parent loses custody due to domestic violence, they are unlikely to regain those lost parental rights.
Options to Explore Before Filing for Divorce
Filing a divorce petition is a major step, and it’s vital to take this step as confidently as possible and prepare accordingly for the difficult legal proceedings ahead. If you are unsure whether your marriage is beyond the hope of repair, discussing your options with your spouse before proceeding with a divorce is vital. For example, you could try a legal separation to see if you both simply need time and space to reflect before making any permanent legal decisions.
Marriage counseling, financial advice, and various other options are available to spouses in struggling marriages. Taking full advantage of these options is vital if you believe your marriage is worth saving. However, if you have exhausted all options for repair, if you have experienced domestic abuse of any kind, or if your spouse simply isn’t interested in resolving your issues, divorce may be inevitable.
Filing for Divorce in California
Either spouse may file a divorce petition in California, and there is no legal advantage in being the first to file. The soonest any divorce petition can be approved in California is six months from the date the petition is filed. Many divorce cases will require longer than this to resolve the issues they contain. However, a couple can complete their divorce before the six-month waiting period. In this situation, they must simply wait the remainder of the six months before the court finalizes their divorce.
What to Expect From a Divorce Attorney
It’s natural to have lots of legal questions if you have reached the point of considering divorce. The right attorney is invaluable in this situation, providing individualized guidance for the unique concerns you face. In addition, an experienced attorney will help their client gather all the documentation they need for their proceedings and explain their options for resolving the divorce.
While most people think of heated courtroom exchanges when they imagine divorce cases, the reality is that most divorces are settled privately through alternative dispute resolution. While it’s not always possible to resolve all the issues a divorce entails through private settlement, exploring the issues you can resolve privately in alternative dispute resolution can save a substantial amount of time and money in your divorce. Additionally, you and your spouse can potentially reach more agreeable terms than a judge could have delivered had you litigated your divorce.
Attorney Paula D. Kleinman and her team provide compassionate legal representation to clients facing complex divorce cases. It can be difficult to determine whether divorce would be in your best interests, but once you have decided to end your marriage, you need an attorney to guide you through your case confidently. Our team takes time to learn each client’s unique needs and adapts our strategies accordingly. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for divorce, and every client deserves individualized representation they can trust.
If you are unsure whether you should file for divorce or need legal representation for the preliminary stages of dissolution proceedings, we can help. Contact Paula D. Kleinman today and schedule a consultation to learn more about the legal services our team offers for divorce.