We have to face the sad reality of our times: divorce is an increasingly common occurrence, both within the UK and all over the world. It is, in fact, so frequent that a divorced family might have already become the new norm. Such an outcome should not be stigmatised – all of us have the right to lead the lives that we truly want and deserve to lead, and choosing a supportive, loving partner plays an enormously important role in this. Keeping the marriage going is not always an option – especially if there is abuse, adultery or a devastating addiction involved. Nevertheless, a growing number of divorce cases state the elusive ‘irreconcilable differences‘ as grounds for dissolution of marriage. Even we, experienced divorce solicitors, cannot help but ask: is there really no way to overcome them? Is the emotional turmoil and financial cost always worth it?
Do not be afraid to address these questions to yourself and your partner before handing in your divorce papers. Prior to taking action, sit down and consider the following reasons why divorce might not be the right decision for you after all.
- The impact on your children. Once you and your partner bring kids into this world, the marriage no longer concerns just the two of you. We are not trying to say that staying married for the sake of your children is always the best of ideas – on the contrary, an unhappy marriage might do more harm than good to everybody involved. However, you should still be aware of the lasting impact that a divorce process could have on your kids and you must take it into consideration before going forward with your choice. Witnessing the breakdown of the most important relationship in their lives can affect your children‘s ability to develop meaningful connections in the future. Some statistics claim that as many as 40% of people who had grown up in a divorced family never got married themselves. There are also links between dissolution of marriage and the children‘s subsequent drug abuse, poor academic performance and mental illness. This is not to say that it is bound to happen to your kids if you do decide to go through with the divorce. Some children are able to truly move on and accept the unfortunate circumstances with the help of continuous support and love from their parents. Nevertheless, the risk is still there and it has to be taken into account.
- The loss of extended family. It is said that when you marry your partner, you marry their family as well – every couple can attest to the accuracy of this statement. Sadly, the saying also applies to divorce. Whether you were married for a few years or a couple of decades, the family ties had undoubtedly developed and you should not fail to appreciate the pain that the loss of those connections can cause. Sure, some people are able to keep in touch with the family of their ex-partner and maintain a strong bond – but statistics show that they are definitely in the minority. More often than not, divorce results in an awkward and strained communication with the in-laws and other members of the ex-partner‘s family. The shift in the relationship of the divorced couple naturally affects the dynamic of the extended family unit. You might choose to go through with the divorce after considering this argument against it, but you should still prepare yourself for changes that will go far beyond your own household.
- The financial cost. Here at Leeds Divorce Solicitors, we do our very best to keep the financial burden of legal costs as minimal as possible – but there is no denying that the process is still expensive. The legal fees are only part of the story. There is also the division of joint assets (that cannot always be divided equally), the costs of moving house, child support and a whole lot of other potentially pricey adjustments. The average cost of divorce in the UK is currently around £70,000 – with £4,000 of lost salary, £5,000 spent on relocating and £51,000 required to pay off various debts. The facts speak for themselves – we do not have to tell you that this is a significant sum that must be carefully thought through before initiating the divorce process.
Ultimately, the decision, as well as the responsibility for it, rests with you and your partner. Nobody, not even a divorce solicitor, can fully appreciate the dense web of circumstances that has led the two of you to where you are now. What a divorce solicitor definitely can do, however, is help you understand all of the complexities and potential consequences of your choice. The goal that we at Leeds Divorce Solicitors pursue each day is not to end the marriage as soon as possible – we aim to provide you with information, support and guidance that everybody deserves at such a trying point in their lives.