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.
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