Should I Divorce When the Kids Are Older?

We’re all familiar with families where the mother and father held off on their divorce until their children graduated high school and went off to college. Sometimes, no one knew the couple was unhappy and the divorce came as a shocker. Other times, those inside the couple’s circle knew the marriage was broken and they weren’t surprised when they heard the news of the divorce.

If you are unhappily married and asking yourself, “Should I hold off on my divorce until the kids are older?” you’re not alone. So many unhappy spouses ask themselves this question every day; however, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to the question. But, we can shed some light on the subject, which may help you arrive at a decision sooner than later.

Signs You May Want to Divorce Sooner

If you are going back and forth between divorcing now or divorcing later, we want you to closely evaluate the following bulleted list. If it resonates with you, it may be in your best interests to consider filing a divorce in the near future.

It may be better to divorce soon if:

  • Your spouse physically abuses you, your children, or the family pets.
  • Your spouse is emotionally abusive toward you or your children.
  • Your spouse is engaged in criminal activity and won’t stop, even if it’s non-violent white-collar crime.
  • Your spouse is disrespecting your marriage by having an affair or by having extramarital relations with casual acquaintances.
  • Your spouse is threatening physical harm, or to embarrass you if you end the marriage.
  • You are afraid of your spouse.
  • Your spouse has a substance abuse problem and will not receive treatment or keeps falling off the wagon and relapsing.
  • You get into volatile arguments with your spouse regularly and it’s affecting your children’s happiness and well-being.
  • You are modeling an unhealthy marriage for your children and this concerns you.
  • Your children are begging you to get a divorce.

If you can relate to any of the above issues, it may be in your best interests to seek a divorce sooner rather than later, especially if your spouse is physically or emotionally abusive toward you or your children.

Related: How Domestic Violence Impacts Divorce in California

Can Your Marriage Be Saved?

Let’s say that none of the above issues apply to you. Your spouse is certainly not abusive in any way and they are not cheating on you. He or she is a stable, loving parent and they are not mistreating you or the kids. You’re still unhappy for another reason; for example, perhaps you have nothing in common, or perhaps your spouse lost interest in intimacy. What do you do?

All marriages have their ups and downs, so we cannot speak on your behalf. Perhaps your spouse has depression and has completely “checked out” as a partner and parent, or perhaps they travel all the time and you are tired of feeling all alone in the relationship. Can it be fixed? Is it worth fixing? How would your children feel if you broke it off now? Will things get better with time?

Only you can answer the above questions, and only you know how your children will react to news of a divorce. If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities in a California divorce, we encourage you to contact our firm to request a consultation with an Orange County divorce attorney.