Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law provides collaborative divorce solutions to clients in San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties.

What should I do if I think I want to file for divorce?

If you find yourself increasingly dissatisfied with your marriage, and the thought of divorce has begun to creep in, it is natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps.

You are not alone. Many couples go through this period of contemplation before making a final decision on divorce. This initial “thinking about it” stage is very important. Here are some essential steps to consider.

Educate yourself on divorce processes

Divorce processes vary depending on the complexity and nature of your situation. Familiarize yourself with the different options available, such as Collaborative Divorce, mediation or litigation.

Collaborative Divorce involves working with your spouse and a team of professionals commonly involved in divorce processes to reach an agreement. Mediation utilizes a neutral third party mediator to facilitate communication and guide you toward mutually beneficial solutions. Litigation is a court process where a judge makes decisions regarding finances, child custody and property division. You might consider attending a Divorce Options® workshop to learn more about these processes.

Understanding these options can empower you to approach the possibility of divorce with a clearer perspective.

Communicate openly with your spouse

While initiating the conversation might feel daunting, open and honest communication with your spouse is vital.

Express your concerns and try to understand your spouse’s perspective. This should not be an accusatory blame game; focus on how you have both been feeling and what is missing in the relationship.

Perhaps there are underlying issues that can be addressed through couples therapy before making a final decision on divorce.

Avoid impulsive decisions

Divorce is a life-altering decision with emotional and financial repercussions. Do not make hasty choices based on temporary anger or frustration. Give yourself ample time to reflect, process your feelings and weigh the possibilities.

Explore couples counseling

Couples counseling provides a safe space for you and your partner to work through your problems with a qualified therapist. A therapist can help you:

  • Identify areas of conflict
  • Improve communication
  • Explore ways to revitalize your marriage

Even if you choose to divorce, counseling can equip you with healthy coping mechanisms and communication skills to navigate the separation constructively.

Remember, this period of contemplation is about gathering information and prioritizing your well-being. Do not hesitate to seek legal support as you navigate this challenging phase. By taking these initial steps, you will be well-positioned to make an informed decision about the future of your relationship.