Actor William Shatner said in an interview, "Divorce is probably as painful as death" and spoke of the grief involved in the "broken dream." However, marriage is a dream that appeals to most Americans, as 90 percent will marry at some point in their lives and even out of those who eventually divorce most will remarry. A good marriage is hard work and the negative fallout from the dissolution of a marriage should make you think twice before calling a divorce attorney.
The Grass Isn't Greener
When you feel upset by frustrating relationship problems, it can be tempting to chuck the relationship and go it alone. The problem is, after a divorce, approximately half of all people remarry within five years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And 60 percent of remarriages also fail, according to a June 2012 article in "Psychology Today." It's best to try to work out issues with your current spouse, rather than divorcing and possibly remarrying essentially the same person in slightly different packaging, something many people do.
If you have children, you have a compelling reason to try to work out your differences with your mate. Robert Hughes, professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign notes in a March 2011 AtHealth.com article that children of divorce are twice as likely to experience numerous difficulties growing up. For example, a child with divorced parents is more likely to have difficulty in school, be aggressive, have low self-esteem and struggle with depression. Early sexual activity and drug use can also be issues once she reaches adolescence. She may also struggle with forming intimate relationships later on in life. Realizing that a divorce can have such serious consequences for children may provide the motivation you need to attempt to resolve the problems in your relationship.
Even if you don't have children, the fallout from a divorce is likely to be significant. Not only will you and your partner have to make difficult emotional adjustments, but you are likely to lose some important relationships in your life. For example, even if your mother-in-law irritates you with her insistence that you cook the Thanksgiving turkey according to her recipe, you may feel sad if she is no longer a part of your life. Friends may have divided loyalties and choose a friendship with your ex-partner instead of you. You might have to sell your home and move. Adjusting to the upheaval in your life caused by a divorce might be much more difficult than putting in the time and effort to repair your relationship.
The monetary cost of divorce may help you to hang in there a bit longer. While it is difficult to calculate the cost of a divorce, you're likely to spend thousands even if your split is amicable. Finances are often a factor in a couple's decision to divorce. Couples who disagree over financial issues are more likely to divorce and couples who are thrifty and agree on how to spend their money tend to be happier. It is interesting to note that after the 2008 financial crisis, divorce lawyers surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported that fewer people were filing for divorce than during times of greater financial security, according to a May 2012 article on CNBC.com. Staying together can help you hang onto a significant chunk of your assets, especially if you are living in a two-income household.