Because divorce can be a painful and traumatic—not to mention permanent—end to a relationship that spouses may have been in for years (if not decades), it’s common for one or both parties to delay the inevitable. That means that despite the wheels of divorce being set in motion, the process doesn’t get finalized for many months or even years.
It’s a common coping strategy for couples who are still dealing with the emotional trauma and baggage from the relationship and trying to rediscover themselves and plan out their newly single lives. But it’s also a strategy that can often backfire. While it may delay the sometimes-painful finality of permanent separation, it can also cause serious damage to your finances, your mental health, and even other relationships in your life.
Moving Forward with Your Divorce Means Taking Back Control
At the Law Office of David C. Stone*, our Anaheim family law attorney frequently advises men like you to always be looking forwards—never backwards—when the reality of divorce sets in. And when you’re not taking the steps necessary to finalize your divorce, your life becomes stuck in limbo, making it difficult for you to heal and to take positive steps to regain control of yourself and your future.
It’s important to “strike while the iron is hot” when it comes to divorce—and that means never letting the proceedings snowball into huge legal battles or angry confrontations. Here are five reasons to push forward with your divorce once the process has started, regardless of your feelings about the situation:
1. An otherwise amicable split can quickly turn nasty, hostile, and messy—Divorces can be a roller coaster of emotion for both spouses. Despite the initial shock and sadness of divorce, many spouses are able to reach some common ground in the ensuing days and weeks. The best time to finalize a divorce is when the relationship is still amicable and cordial. The longer a divorce drags out, the more likely the quest for compromise and the “common good” will fall by the wayside and both parties will instead look for ways to even the score or even one-up the other person. That can result in bitter and contested affairs that leave both spouses exhausted and drained.
2. New relationships can form and complicate the situation—It’s human nature to seek companionship and love—even while the divorce process is playing out. While many post-divorce relationships are “rebounds” or flings, they can still significantly complicate proceedings and your spouse’s view of you, your previous relationship, and what she may be entitled to. The best outcomes for most divorces occur when there are only four people involved: the divorcing spouses and their respective attorneys. When additional family members or even new lovers get involved, the situation always becomes more complicated—and that can lead to prolonged proceedings and needless contention over minor issues.
3. A lengthy divorce can harm your personal and professional lives—Divorce can be an emotionally difficult and draining time for anyone—even people who are desperate to get out of bad marriages. The difficulties that divorcing spouses experience can vary throughout the divorce process in intensity and type, but they almost always manifest themselves in their personal and professional lives. You may find yourself becoming withdrawn and moody around family members and close friends, or you may find it difficult to focus on your work and put your best foot forward every day. No one should have divorce hanging over their heads for months at a time—it’s best to finalize it as soon as possible.
4. You may be more likely to accept less-than-ideal terms the longer the process drags out—Standing your ground is one of the most important things you can do during your divorce. In our practice, we know that most of our clients begin their divorce proceedings with a strong vision for what they want and a fierce determination to get it. But as the back-and-forth process begins and the proceedings get dragged out for months on end, some spouses just want the divorce finalized, even if it means caving on terms that were previously non-negotiable. Don’t let that happen to you. Divorce fatigue and exhaustion are real, and the sooner you finalize the process, the more likely you’ll be able to move on with your life.
5. Finalizing your divorce helps give you, your spouse, and your children closure—Closure is an important aspect of divorce. Every member of your family bears some of the weight of your divorce, and while its finalization may be a sad moment for you and your children, it can also represent a new beginning and a chance to move forward. It also represents an opportunity to establish new routines and lives, especially if your children will be living with you full time or part time. The longer divorces remain in limbo, the more children struggle to adapt and cope with the stress in their own lives and the stress they see their parents experiencing. Kids are innocent bystanders in divorces, and they deserve fresh starts as much as their parents.
The only time that divorce should be delayed is if both you and your spouse think there’s a reasonable chance of reconciliation and a happy future together. However, that often requires marital counseling and plenty of soul searching, and the decision to get back together—just like the initial decision to divorce—shouldn’t be taken lightly or made on a whim.
Need a Family Law Attorney in Anaheim or Newport Beach? Call Us Today.
André Ausseresses at the Law Office of David C. Stone knows that time is of the essence in divorce proceedings.
Not only is it important to get a lawyer on your side right away, but it’s also important that you get one who can finalize the process fast and efficiently while making sure your needs are taken care of.
Don’t be left in limbo for months or even years. Let us help you move forward with your life. Contact us today at (866) 774-3237 or complete our online contact form.