Whether you have been married for several months or several decades, there are very difficult questions you ask yourself when thinking about divorce. No questions are unnecessary when considering such a big change in your life and the life of your family, but there are a few we think might take priority:
CRITICAL ISSUE #1:
Make Sure You (and Your Children) Are Safe
Hopefully, this will not pertain to most folks reading this blog, but domestic violence in it's various forms is a complicated issue that takes precedence when making the kind of decision like divorce. The threat of divorce or separation can lead to increased emotional and/or physical abuse. Assess what will provide you and your children in a safe place.
Resources are available. If you or a loved one is in this position and need guidance, please find this helpful list.
Aside from physical agression, domestic abuse can come in other forms. You may want to consider behaviors relating to:
- Financial and Economic: who controls the finances? how are things currently shared? have you been limited to access to marital finances? has employment been limited or denied because of your spouse?
- Emotional and Psychological: examples can be verbal abuse, intimidation, manipulation, isolation, minimizing/denying/blaming, or "gaslighting"
- Using Children: examples can be a spouse uses the children to threaten the other parent, guilt them into doing things, or using the children as "messagers" between the parents
- Sexual: unconsensual touching or sex