Article written by Gary Direnfeld
Should I stay or should I go now? Oh, that ambivalence. You may be asking yourself if the problems are serious enough to be considering a separation or divorce. You may be wondering if your partner will change or attend therapy. You may be concerned about the kids, regardless of your decision. There may be concerns about finances and the unknown.
The decision about separating or divorcing is rarely made lightly or quickly. In fact, on average, most people have thought about these things some two to four years before actually acting. These are weighty decisions. So, that still leaves the question...should I stay or should I go.
Who Should I Talk To?
Deciding to get a separation or divorce is a major decision and at the end of the day, you are the only one who can decide. That being said, it is natural to want to talk it out with others. In weighing your decisions, be mindful of who you ask. Turning to friends and family is a great way to find the support you need; however they also might have a biased view. Their feedback may be influenced by their own experiences, or else by their unique connection with you and your partner. Remember, everybody's situation is different so be conscious when turning to loved ones for this type of advice.
Where possible, consider a couple counselor. Depending on the counselor, they may be able to offer help and guidance to address the areas of concern. Through something called discernment therapy, this therapist can help the couple figure out where they stand with the relationship. If your partner isn't willing to participate, you can consider individual therapy to work through your feelings.
Considering the Law:
Few people are aware of the intricacies of Family Law in Canada and their own province. Few are aware that the rules for married couples versus cohabitating couples are different. Stay or go, it is recommended that if ever contemplating a separation or divorce, one should always obtain a consultation from a family lawyer first. A family lawyer can advise you of several important considerations including your rights and responsibilities, likely (although not guaranteed) outcomes for your situation, as well as the role of different paths or options (i.e., dispute resolution alternatives) that might help you arrive at a separation agreement.
The value of a family law consultation cannot be understated. It is not uncommon for one person in the relationship to assume knowledge and apply their view of family law in their own interest. This can be manipulative and frightening for the other. A family law consultation can make sure the information you have is accurate and unbiased. Receiving information doesn’t obligate you to go through with a separation or divorce.
Finding Your Happiness:
While attending therapy and booking a family law consultation can help you in this sensitive decision, remember that you need to do what is best for you! Take the time you need to consider the situation and determine what will ultimately help ensure you find the happiness you deserve. We are here for you!