To divorce or not to divorce? That is the question !

Undoubtedly, this is an important and even a critical personal question. We are not pretending to answer it – but below we list some of the considerations affecting the making of a decision in this context:

* General Circumstances: The length of the marriage; with or without children; is this a first marriage?

* Circumstances of the Crisis: Whether or not you get along, whether the “spark” between you has died, does an external difficulty threaten the relationship (economic crisis; illness, etc.), whether or not a third party is involved in the crisis (infidelity, etc.), or perhaps this is a middle age crisis…

* The Duration of the Crisis: Has the crisis just started or is it an ongoing crisis? Sometimes the time that has lapsed also has a bearing on the nature of the relationship between the couple.

* Children – Living separately also involves division of the time with and responsibility for the children, while in most cases the mother is designated the custodian and the father is entitled to visitation rights (see “custody”). Further, in most cases, as a result of the parents’ separation from each other, the children experience an inevitable crisis. In this context, it should be stated that continuing a married life full of misery and quarrels under one roof is liable to cause very severe damage and in such cases experts determine that separation and divorce can result in appeasement and relief for the children. Undoubtedly, the children’s age is also a weighty consideration when deciding the question of the divorce and in general, the parenthood of each of the spouses has a crucial effect on their future conduct as a divorced couple.

* Economic considerations – dissolution of the family results in heavy economic damages in consequence of the division of the domestic resources and the need to maintain in parallel two households instead of one. In consequence, some prefer to continue the married life even if this entails considerable suffering for everyone involved. Furthermore, at the time of the divorce a balancing of resources takes place between the parties and in cases where the other party has heavy debts, there is a risk that at such time the other party’s debts will apply to you (see “debts”) Needless to say, many times in the event of a dispute between spouses and the conducting of legal proceedings, the economically weaker spouse is expected to suffer for a certain period from economic difficulties while the other spouse, as part of the sanctions adopted by him/her, does not allow to him/her any access or use of the domestic economic resources. In such cases the capacity to raise economic support for the interim period from family members or through other means is important, in order to get through the hard time up to the decisions as to the proprietary issues between the spouses.

* Social considerations – Sometimes people attribute importance to acceptable norms in the society we live in. Thus, for instance, in a conservative society, divorce will be treated as a drastic and a non-conventional move. However, there is no doubt that at present, in the modern society in which we live, a divorce is not treated as an exceptional or drastic move.

* The extended family – Sometimes the question of how the divorce will be treated in your family is also taken into account. In extreme cases or in certain families, it is not acceptable to divorce and the parents estrange themselves from their children who get divorced and in other cases, where there is family support, this facilitates the decision to divorce.

* Your age and the ability to “open a new leaf” in life – generally, the age at which the option of getting a divorce is weighed, is also important. Thus, for instance, at a young age, before the couple has had any children, it would be reasonable to assume that each of the spouses will be able to be rehabilitated quickly and to find another partner. A woman nearing the end of the fertility age who wishes to give birth to other children not with her current spouse would generally tend to choose a divorce. On the other hand, a mature woman who has already realized her parenthood would tend to weigh economic and other considerations before entering into a divorce. With regard to men – the option to open a new page in life is available for a wider age span.

Sometimes at an older age, spouses prefer “to turn a blind eye” and to continue living together out of considerations of convenience and a reluctance to make drastic changes at this stage in their life. If you are pondering this question, it is important that you take into account the following advice:

* In many cases, particularly where the crisis is at its outset, where minor children are involved, or in any event where there is a mutual desire to do so, before your marriage is terminated, it is advisable to attempt to rehabilitate the partnership, inter alia, via some sort of partnership therapy. In the event that this attempt fails, a divorce can always be considered.

* It is advisable to ask for the assistance of a family member and/or a close friend who knows you well, who can assist you in making the critical decision and even support you in the future in any way selected by you.

* It is advisable to consult with a professional from the therapeutic field (psychologist, social worker, etc.) in respect of the crisis in the married life and the options you have, as well as concerning the damages liable to be caused to your children in consequence of selecting such or other move.

* It is advisable to get organized and to collect documents and data relating to the income of the other partner and to the domestic property registered in the name of either of the parties.

* It is advisable to consult a lawyer even at the stage of deliberation concerning the divorce and to obtain all the information relevant to your legal status and to the implications thereof on your future– in order to eventually make a decision based on your actual personal, economic and legal situation.