Whether you’re looking to avoid divorce entirely or find a legal alternative to divorce, you have come to the right place. TRABOLSI | LEVY | GABBARD LLP is here to provide the answers you need during this difficult time.
While you and your spouse are the only people who can decide if and when to end your marriage, our team can help with the legal realities of your decision.
We can also give you the information you need to make such a decision. Even if you decide not to get divorced, speaking to a divorce attorney can give you confidence and peace of mind as you navigate the next steps.
Whenever you want to talk, we are available.
How Can I Avoid Divorce and Separation?
If you and your spouse want to stay together, you must commit to being together – every single day. With the hurt, anger, and resentment that led you to consider divorce, this may feel like an impossible task. It’s not, especially if you take things one day at a time.
Take Things One Day at a Time
Wake up every morning and identify one positive reason you are with your partner.
Sandra A. Shachar, Ph.D. recommends saying this affirmation out loud to one another. Try saying something like:
“I commit to being married to you today because [insert your reason here].”
Your affirmation can be something as simple as “because you’re a good parent,” or “because I like your laugh,” but be honest and specific. Finding the positives in your marriage should get easier over time.
Do Not Threaten Your Relationship
During conflicts, you may feel the urge to run away. Handle this urge productively by taking a “time-out.” Instead of suggesting divorce or threatening to leave your relationship, tell your spouse you need to take a break and let them know when you will be ready to continue the conversation. Try to self-soothe and see things from your partner’s point of view during the break.
“Closing the exits” can help you emphasize commitment and build stability within your relationship.
Consider Your Partner’s Experience
In most arguments, it does not matter who is right and who is wrong. Instead of trying to find – or avoid – fault, try to consider the argument from your partner’s point of view. Considering each other’s feelings is a de-escalation technique, can help each partner feel understood, and is an important step toward healing. You don’t have to agree with your partner’s behavior to understand where they’re coming from, and understanding is an important part of forgiveness.
As author Ruth Graham writes, “a happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
View Your Relationship as an Emotional Bank Account
If your marriage feels like nothing but fights and conflict, it’s no wonder you are thinking about divorce. Each relationship comes with an “emotional bank account,” and you need to balance the deposits with the withdrawals. After a fight, small gestures can go a long way in getting your relationship back into the green. Even when you’re not fighting, making these deposits is important because each spouse has moments where they need to remind themselves of the good in the relationship.
For example, if your spouse forgot to clean up after dinner (again), you can look at the flowers they brought home just because they love you, and the emotional bank account will balance out.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take the First Step
You may not know how to start rebuilding your relationship from the brink of divorce, and that’s okay. Start small. Your spouse may be angry with you or feel distant, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing small, thoughtful things for them.
Making a coffee in the morning? Ask your spouse if they want one or just make an extra cup. You can make small gestures like this even if one or both of you are upset, and they can go a long way.
You can also take bigger steps, like asking your spouse to go to couple’s counseling.
Either way, don’t expect change to happen unless you create it.
Is It Better to Divorce Than Stay in an Unhappy Marriage?
When it comes to relationships, no choice is “better” than another. If you believe your relationship is worth fighting for, sticking out periods of unhappiness may be worthwhile, but if you truly believe your marriage is over, leaving may be the best choice.
Studies show that two-thirds of unhappy couples who stayed together were happy 5 years later. The key is knowing whether you and your spouse are the two-thirds that will work things out, or the one-third that would be happier apart.
Unfortunately, no one can find this answer for you.
Is It Better to Divorce or Separate?
This is another question to which there are no easy answers. Once you have decided to end your marriage, you will need to consider what you want the end of that relationship to look like.
For some people, divorce is not an option for religious reasons, and legal separation may be a better option. Others may want to get legally divorced without seeing the inside of a courtroom, and mediation may be the best option for them.
Some people even choose “conscious uncoupling,” or other alternative, healing-based ways to deal with divorce.
Rarely, a marriage may need to be annulled because it was never legitimate, in the first place.
If you have made the difficult decision to leave your marriage, TRABOLSI | LEVY | GABBARD LLP can help you choose the best way to do it. We will walk you through your legal options, including traditional divorce and the many alternatives.
Our board-certified family law attorneys have more than a century of collective legal experience, and we are ready to answer all your questions and address all your concerns.
With our firm, clients always come first, so don’t hesitate to call us at (310) 455-8364 or contact us online today.