“I wish I had gotten divorced years ago…”
I cannot tell you how often I hear in my divorce mediation practice “I wish we hadn’t waited so long to divorce.” If you know that a divorce is imminent, it does not make sense to put it off. Following are some reasons why.
1. Do it before you really hate each other. Seriously! It is much easier to negotiate an agreement with someone you can still sit in the same room and have a conversation with. Staying in a bad marriage breeds resentment. Also – let’s be honest – the longer you wait, the greater the chance something that bad happens: an affair, verbal or physical abuse, wasteful disposition of assets… the list goes on. Meet with a divorce mediator now while you are still able to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
2. A financially irresponsible spouse is bringing you down with them. Having a spouse who gambles, has a spending problem and/or is running up debts is a big problem for both of you. Divorce is a legal and economic partnership and you are both responsible for debt – even if you had nothing to do with creating it. If your name is on the debt (i.e. credit card, HELOC) your credit will be ruined, even if a divorce agreement stipulates that you are not responsible. Get out before it is too late.
3. Staying in a bad marriage can hazardous to your health. Let’s face it – being in a bad marriage is stressful. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found a strong link between a bad marriage and heart health.
4. Being divorced could increase the amount of financial aid your son or daughter may be eligible for. If you’re sticking it out “until the kids finish school” thinking you are doing your kids a favor, you may actually be making it financially more difficult on your children by saddling them with more student loans than they might otherwise have required. Read my article “Children of Divorced Parents Can Get More Financial Aid” to learn more.
5. There are tax advantages to getting divorced the end of 2018. There are tax benefits around spousal support (alimony) that are going away beginning in 2019 but will remain in effect for all spousal support payments pursuant to agreements executed prior to December 31, 2018. Note that you do not have to be divorced prior to this date but your agreement would have to be negotiated, drawn up and signed by the end of 2018. If you mediate, you still have time to get this done.
Divorce is scary but sticking your head in the sand and avoiding the inevitable may not be the right answer and you are likely not doing yourself or your children any favors. Take the first step and call me for a free consultation at 518-813-6098. The reality of divorce is probably not as bad as they terrible scenario you have created in your head.
About Divorce Agree
Divorce Agree was launched in 2013 by Michele Martin, divorce mediator and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA™) to provide mediation and divorce financial counseling services to couples in the greater Capital District. Divorce Agree offers couples a free consultation to educate couples on mediation as well as the other divorce options available to them. Divorce Agree is located in Malta, NY which is convenient to divorcing couples from all over the greater Capital District and North Country including Saratoga, Warren, Albany and also Schenectady Counties. The phone number is 518-813-6098 and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Divorce Agree can be found on the internet at www.divorceagree.com.