If you are struggling in your marriage, unable to effectively communicate about or agree on anything, and you see little chance of turning the situation around, you may have considered filing for divorce. You may recognize that divorce can solve some of your problems while giving rise to others. This article identifies some of the reasons you might want to consider seeking a divorce, but also identifies the consequences of marital dissolution.
What You Have to Gain through Divorce
- If there is a lot of anger, verbal abuse or physical abuse in your marriage, a divorce can reduce the risk of that happening, and increase your safety.
- Many people in unhappy marriages stay together because they believe it’s in the best interests of their children. Studies show, however, that children can adapt to divorce and often can benefit by not being exposed to the bickering and fighting prevalent in a bad marriage. One study concluded that 80% of children of divorce emerge as emotionally healthy adults. Children learn from their environment. If they are always around conflict, they often learn that conflict is an essential element of any relationship.
- Financially, you may benefit from divorce. If your ex-spouse was irresponsible with money or unwilling to contribute to the financial well-being of the family, a divorce can remove that burden and allow you to regain your financial footing.
The Potential Downside of Divorce
- If there are children involved, divorce can lead to emotional challenges. If you don’t clearly explain to the children that they are not to blame, they may try to take responsibility for the divorce. Additionally, a divorce can often place children in the middle of parents who don’t agree. The children may feel like they have to take sides, or that they have to become a different person when they are with each parent.
- Divorce can be financially devastating, whether you are the custodial or the non-custodial parent. You may have built a lifestyle based on two incomes, with a home, car and extracurricular activities at that level. With only one income, you may not be able to maintain the lifestyle you had. As a custodial parent, you may not be able to get enough in child support to keep your home or other items. As the non-custodial parent, the requirement to pay child support can make it difficult to acquire your own living space and build a separate life.
- Divorce can be emotionally devastating. Sometimes referred to as the “living death,” it can make you feel like a failure, feel undesirable or unloved, and put you in a position where you are constantly reminded of former, perhaps happier, times. When you or your ex-spouse remarry and your children start to develop relationships with stepparents, the emotional challenges can be wrenching for everyone involved.
- When children are involved, divorce can be very hard work. Even when you have a court order identifying custody, visitation and support, every situation is different. Your child’s needs and wants will change as they grow. You will often have to either negotiate exceptions to prior agreements or be perceived as inflexible, more interested in your needs than the child’s needs.
In New York, parties must establish one of six grounds for Divorce.
- Confinement to Prison
- Cruel and Inhumane Treatment
- Living Separate and Apart Pursuant to a Separation Agreement
- Living Separate and Apart Pursuant to a Separation Decree or Judgment of Separation
- Property Division
If there is no prenuptial agreement, the parties are each entitled to 50 percent of the assets accumulated during the marriage, regardless of whether the assets are in one spouse’s name or in both spouses’ names. As long as the parties accumulated the asset during the marriage, each party is entitled to half. Assets include pensions, bank accounts and real estate.
If you would like to discuss your divorce, please call Shawn Kassman or a member of his legal team at 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or fill out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and represent clients located in Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location), Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson, Riverhead and both Suffolk County and Nassau County, NY.