3 Major Things to Consider Before Filing for a Divorce

Filing for a divorce is a monumental life decision, and for many, emotions get in the way of rational thinking. Make sure you've considered these three things before deciding to divorce.

By Alice Porter
Updated: December 22, 2016
filing for a divorce

Filing for a divorce is a monumental life decision. For most, emotions get in the way of rational thinking during divorce. The decision to divorce is oftentimes based on negative emotions that can cause a person to jump into the divorce process instead of wade in slowly. What adds to the stress more is the number of hurdles and obstacles you’ll have to get around, which is why I've put together a list of the three most important things that you must consider before filing for a divorce.

Top 3 Important Things to Think About Before Filing for Divorce

1. What Are the Implications for the Children and Family?

Without question a divorce will affect your children and immediate family. Managing this can be a big enough task in itself, and as a parent it's completely normal to feel uncertain about how to give the right support. The most important thing is to talk, tell the truth, and avoid blaming. Without doubt you’ll find yourself in battles, but it’s important to keep a level head.


In an ideal world, the best plan will be to ensure you both attend activities such as school events and extracurricular activities. The presence of parents will greatly enhance the child’s experience. A good choice is to have two homes within the same school area, which will allow your child to see their friends. It is also very important to invite their friends to both homes. Remember that children learn about social skills, how to give and take relationships, and how to be fair. Agreeing on arrangements for your children early on is vital. You’ll most likely need a solicitor to assist you with legal advice. If you struggle to come to an agreement, then arrangements can be decided by a court order.

2. The Cost

It’s not uncommon at all to make a decision to file for a divorce without taking into account how to manage the costs of two households, children, and other financial resources such as legal help from dispute resolution solicitors.

Can you fund the after-divorce costs? Typically, after a divorce the standard of living goes down because the amount of support increases. Don’t forgot to budget for after the divorce has been filed.

3. Have You Given It Your All?

Divorce is very personal to the individuals experiencing it. Every situation is different and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. There is help out there – it may be worthwhile trying to get help to save the marriage.


A marriage counselor may offer you the insight into the clockwork of your marriage and help you identify what specifically went wrong from an informed but emotionally distant place. After a recent poll, 97% of people that tried marriage counseling said they got the help they needed. If you are wondering whether counseling will work for you, the answer may depend on whether or not your partner is even willing to go to therapy with you. The most difficult part is accepting that there is a problem with the marriage and seeking help.

Off Your Own Back

If counseling isn’t for you, you need to make the effort of working out what went wrong. You cannot move forward if you aren’t certain what’s holding you back. These can be many reasons, such as money, death of a loved one, or even daily stress. A divorce should be the very last option. With such a life-changing decision you should be absolutely certain that you explore all avenues prior to filing for a divorce.

Alice PorterAfter studying law in the UK, Alice worked as a barrister for a number of years, dealing with dispute resolutions. She now works as a freelance writer and spends her spare time with family.

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December 20, 2016

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