Divorce could be the route to getting a new start in life. However, before you finalize plans to end your marriage, it is important to note that divorce can be challenging. It can be painful for you or both partners. You may undergo a sense of regret or guilt later on. Divorce can also be expensive if there are lengthy court proceedings.
If you have children, divorce can be a devastating experience for your kids. Research studies have shown that children of divorced parents are prone to depression, social problems, anxiety, substance abuse and low school performance. A divorce will also impact your other relations such as your family members and friends.
With so much at stake, it is imperative that you take time to think about choosing divorce. Here are some alternatives to divorce that you can consider before committing to ending your marriage.
Counselling – This is the first thing couples need to agree about before ending their marriage. It may seem odd to bring a third party in the picture, but many times, counselling has helped resolve conflicts between couples. Various types of hidden emotions and feelings could be revealed during counselling session, which can work as an eye opener for the individuals involved. Even if you are not confident, there’s no harm in giving it a try.
Judicial separation – Instead of divorce that breaks all bonds, you can go for judicial separation. This way, you can be physically separated without ending your marriage. Things like property and financial accounts continue to be owned jointly by both in case of legal separation. This can give you appropriate time to think about coming back together or choosing divorce. Legal separation reduces the risk of making hasty decisions.
Mediation – This is not exactly an alternative to divorce, but it can still be useful in reducing expenses related to the divorce. Mediation comes into the picture when you have largely decided to end your marriage. However, to reduce expenses, a neutral third party is onboarded to finalize the details of the agreement. It will include various aspects such as division of property, financial accounts, custody, etc.
Collaborative divorce – This is similar to mediation, but both spouses are required to hire their own attorneys to finalize the details of separation. Just like mediation, this process can also save valuable time and money.
Conscious uncoupling – This is not legally binding and could be tried if both partners agree. It is more of a lifestyle alternative to divorce. With conscious uncoupling, spouses can reduce the emotional impact of divorce on themselves and their loved ones. Conscious uncoupling can be applied while simultaneously working on other goals such as divorce, legal separation or physical separation.