There are an endless list of questions to be asked when getting a divorce. Most people who undergo divorce do so for the very first time, so this life changing situation is entirely new to them. This means it can get very daunting as they are unfamiliar with the situation and are scrambling to find answers.
While the points we talk about below are simplified, it provides a good overview of the starting questions you should ask yourself before you get a divorce. It helps to clear your doubts and uncover hidden problems. And because everyone’s divorce situation is different, there is a good chance there may be a lot more questions you are asking yourself.
1.Have I tried?
It’s not just making a few attempts at fixing the relationship, and then throwing in the towel. These attempts at repairing the broken relationship typically occurs over a couple of years.
Sometimes, what you are encountering may just be a rough patch, which happens to everyone in a committed relationship. Some common causes for this is stress and finances. With Singaporeans working one of the highest numbers of hours a week, stress can easily become a problem.
When we work too much, we might get burnt out i.e mentally tired, and spending more time at work means lesser time with loved ones. On our off days, we just want to relax and unwind to have some time alone.
According to a study by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Department of Statistics, the divorce rate for civil marriages with younger grooms (between 20-24 years old) is double that of those with grooms aged 25 or older. While the reasons for divorce are unclear, part of the problem could possibly be finances as many younger grooms at that age group are just starting out their careers or may not be earning enough to support a family.
The key point here is to find the source of the problem, be it stress, money, or other issues.
The problem may also lie within you, so it’s best to find the source of the problem before deciding on your next step. It’s also advisable to consult an expert in these situations.
Some tips on fixing the marriage include :
- Open communication, where you and your partner talk in depth about problems in your relationship.
- Compromise and reconcile. Try your very best to work out these problems by compromising or trying out new techniques or ways to make the marriage work.
2. Why do I want this? What is my actual reason?
This can be a bit tricky. And unless you are absolutely 100% honest with yourself, you may not find the right answer. But most times, we know what the actual reason for getting a divorce is. It’s a matter of choosing to disclose it to others or not.
While the reason to get a divorce is very personal, you have to ensure that it is valid, not temporary, self-invoked or an emotionally charged cause. Emotionally charged decisions rarely last and may backfire. It also does not solve the underlying problems in your marriage.
Do your best to detach yourself from the emotions you are feeling, be it anger, hurt, disappointment. Make decisions only with a calm, clear mind. You also have to lower or reduce the emotional attachment you have towards your partner to be able to make wise decisions.
Other problems may include sex related problems with your partner, and love. If you find yourself questioning if you still love your spouse, it’s a sign that the love might be fading.
3.Have I gotten external help?
The first group of people you might want to talk to are those around you, i.e friends and family. Get their opinions and see what they think. As outsiders, they may be more neutral towards the situation and can give insights or possible resolutions that you might not have thought of.
Another benefit of being a third party is that they can also analyse your situation from a different angle and give more constructive advice.
Second group of people in my opinion to talk to would be other divorcees. They have experienced divorce themselves and can give really useful advice. They also tend to be more empathetic towards you as they have undergone a similar situation. Some of my favourite resources for this are meetup.com and motherhood forums.
I personally feel that they are better than Facebook groups as they provide anonymity, meaning you can be fully honest and upfront about your situation.
Third group of people you should talk to are marriage counsellors. They can give professional advice that you need. However, just like lawyers, not all counsellors are the same. Some might be better than others. So if you feel that your current counselling sessions aren’t getting you anywhere, then it might be time to seek a different professional.
Also important to remember is that counsellors can’t are not miracle workers. They won’t automatically solve your marriage woes. It takes 2 hands to clap, meaning to say that you and your partner have to make some effort and commitment into getting your relationship to work.
4.Have i talked to a divorce lawyer?
This is one of the most important things to do, even before any divorce papers are filed. Do not simply walk into a lawyer’s office and ask for divorce proceedings without talking to them and getting their advice first. Divorce Lawyers are often in a good position to talk to you about your divorce, and uncover problems or give you advice (not just from a legal standpoint), since they face divorce cases on a daily basis.
Note down all the questions you’d like to ask the divorce lawyer and take down his or her answers. This gives you something to refer to when you’re back home. In the beginning of the article, we said there may be a lot of questions you have running around in your mind. This is the best time to get answers.
Getting legal advice is important, as you need to know your options and how to navigate through the divorce. This is so you don’t get taken advantage of, and can better plan for your life and finances. Your situation might also be more complex, especially when children and various assets are involved. It really helps you get a peace of mind knowing what your options are and how you can move forward. How do you know what to ask your divorce lawyer? We’ve got you covered.
Lastly, if you and your spouse are agreeable, the Collaborative Family Practice (CFP) is also a good option. Put simply, the CFP is a scheme to help couples negotiate and mediate before any court proceedings, with the aim of helping couples reach an agreement. This may help you save time and money. You can click on the underlined link above to find out more about the CFP.
4.Am I prepared?
Accommodation, finances, children’s arrangements, work, and a whole host of other matters have to be considered. If you are unsure about any of these, then chances are you aren’t fully prepared for a divorce.
It is best to sort out these matters and make alternative arrangements. Which is why we always stress the need to start early so you have more time to carefully think, plan and execute your decisions.
By asking yourself and answering these questions above, you are making a conscious effort towards making the marriage work. After getting all the help you can get and trying your best to make the marriage work, you still decide to go for the divorce route, make sure you are prepared for the road ahead.
Ensure that you do what is necessary to protect your assets and children. Getting your finances and personal documents in check, and speaking to a divorce lawyer is a good way to get this done.
By asking yourself these questions, and getting your queries to the legal aspects of divorce answered, you are helping yourself to be in a better position to face the divorce should it happen. It also helps you resolve any difficulties and make wise and well-thought decisions that serves the children’s best interests.