Business Development & Conflict Resolution

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What to Consider Before Getting a Divorce?

The first thing one should consider before getting a divorce is whether it is in your “best interest” and your families “best interest” to end the marriage and break-up the family. There are times when divorce is the only recourse to finding peace and happiness in one’s life. Also, it may be in entire families “best interest” if the marriage ends. Divorce and separation are incredibly difficult experiences for any spouse. This is true regardless of whether or not you wish to divorce or separate due to adultery, cruelty, or one year separation.

Sometimes it may be helpful to go to a marriage counselor or couple therapist to see if you can save the marriage. A marriage counselor or couple therapist can assist a couple with learning how to resolve disputes in an amicable manner or assist with resolving issues that may be the main reason for wanting to divorce (like financial issues, health issues, etc.) Marriage counseling may not be the best tool for every marriage, but can be the first step before deciding to get a divorce attorney. A marriage counselor can help you with coping with a divorce. Marriage counselors can assist you with mentally and emotionally preparing for your divorce, if you decide to end your marriage.

When two individuals decide to marry one another it is comparable to entering into a partnership, the result of which may be a complete merger of every aspect of their lives: social, financial, personal, etc. Therefore, before you decide to divorce or separate from your spouse and terminate the relationship you should consider the following:

  • Talking to a marriage counselor or professional therapist who may be able to help you resolve your marital problems or help you cope with the divorce.
  • Your ability to financially retain legal counsel.
  • Obtaining copies of all relevant financial information or statements of property.
  • Staying in the matrimonial home so to increase your eligibility for exclusive possession (i.e. do not leave or move out unless it is absolutely unbearable or your safety is at risk).
  • The possibility that you may need to draft a new will.
  • Marriage usually and definitely revokes any prior-existing wills and divorce or separation will not revive them.
  • Generally, spouses will create mirror wills designating each other as beneficiaries of the estate should death occur. Therefore, it may be in your best interests to draft a new will taking into account the eventual change in your circumstances and altering your beneficiary designations.
  • The possibility that you may need to change the beneficiary designations of any life insurance policies, investments or pensions you may have. Divorce will not automatically revoke the designation rather you must expressly change it.
  • Severing any joint tenancies you may have with your spouse and transforming them into tenancies in common. With joint tenancies the right of survivorship applies. What this means is that all interests in the assets are held jointly and when one interest holder dies the other inherits his or her share through survivorship, it does not pass on to the heirs of the deceased. The effect of severing and transforming it into a tenancy in common will allow you to deal with your interest as you wish and you may designate it to whomever you like because the right of survivorship will no longer apply.
  • Giving notice to the issuers of joint credit cards or banks who have extended joint credit that you will no longer be accountable for debts incurred by your spouse. However, it would probably be in your best interests, while you are waiting for your divorce to be approved and for an order to be obtained, to try and maintain the status quo. Therefore, if you and your spouse do possess joint credit cards or lines of credit you should not act drastically and begin overspending or attempt to cancel all credit cards or withdraw all funds from the line of credit. This could lead to the freezing of your accounts or the courts being less sympathetic with regards to you and your case. It is important that during this interim stage you continue to execute daily tasks and organize your affairs as you had done previously. An option could be to reduce the limit on your line of credit or credit card if you are worried about overspending or excessive withdrawals.


Another important factor to consider before divorcing is how it will affect your children. It is advisable to sit down with your children, talk to them carefully and in a loving manner, to explain to them why “mommy” and “daddy” are divorcing. Also, it is advisable to have the whole family attend counseling sessions to assist the children with adjusting to the transition of their family. Many times a couple will divorce without taking into consideration how the divorce will affect the children. Also, I believe that you should not have the court determine any issues concerning the care and upbringing of your children. It is advisable to try and resolve all issues concerning the children (child custody, child support, visitation, etc.) through mediation, arbitration, or alternative dispute resolution. As a divorcing couple, you would rather resolve all issues concerning your children on your own terms. It is not in your children’s “best interest” if a judge tells you who shall have custody, set-up a visitation schedule, and how much child support should be paid. With the assistance of a mediator or arbitrator, you can make important decisions concerning your children. A divorce couple should use the court system as a last resort to resolve issues concerning their children in a divorce proceeding. Also, you should ensure that your children continue with counseling throughout the divorce process, so that they can adjust to their family breaking up in a peaceful way.


Divorce is not an easy decision for anyone to have to make, but it should be done in a manner that is beneficial to all involved (couple and the children).


Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting based in Baltimore, Maryland and has been in business since 2013. Contact information:,, and



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2 thoughts on “What to Consider Before Getting a Divorce?

  1. Pingback: Why some couples just can’t seem to reconcile–Part 1 | AFFAIRCARE

  2. Pingback: Why some couples just can’t seem to reconcile–Part 1 | Kinkementary Extramarital Dating | Discreet Extramarital Affairs & Relationships | Married Dating and Discreet Encounters | Free Extramarital Affairs and Marital Dating

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