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Separating from one’s spouse permanently via a divorce is a very serious emotional and legal undertaking. Couples who are thinking about a divorce should treat the process as seriously as they did the act of getting married, which includes asking the right questions. In fact, as explained by a psychotherapist in Manhattan, as reported by The New York Times, even if the answers to the questions ultimately lead to a couple seeking divorce regardless, working through the questions may lay the framework for a more amicable divorce proceeding. Here are some questions to ask before filing for divorce:

1. What Are Your Concerns with the Relationship and Reasons that You Want to Divorce?

Getting a divorce isn’t something that you should do because you’re feeling down or fed up with your spouse; you should take the time to figure out exactly what the problem is. If you need help doing this, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional or therapist.

2. If You and Your Spouse Could Save the Marriage, What Would You Each Have to Do?

While you may argue that it’s completely hypothetical and things are “never going to change,” you and your spouse should take a minute to imagine that the marriage is salvageable based on each party making changes. The same article cited above suggests making a list of what you think you need to do to save the marriage, and a list of what your spouse needs to do to save the marriage. Share the lists with each other.

3. Is There Still Love?

It can be hard to identify feelings of love when you’re frustrated or feeling bad. However, if feelings of love still exist, terminating the marriage may not be the thing that you ultimately want to do. That being said, keep in mind that love alone is also not a reason to stay in a marriage if the love is unreciprocated, or if there are a number of other unhealthy emotions floating about.

4. Have You Attempted to Deal with Issues in the Marriage?

Throwing in the towel and calling it quits too soon is a big mistake. Being frustrated is understandable, but have you been courageous in your attempts to deal with issues in the marriage? Have you voiced your concerns to your spouse? Have you, as a couple, sought marriage therapy or other professional intervention?

5. Are You Ready for All of the Things that Come with Divorce?

It is important to consider whether or not you are truly ready for the things that come for divorce. This includes financial stress, emotional stress, and of course forever saying goodbye to your spouse and being alone. If you have children, it could also mean putting stress on your children and raising children alone.

Need Help Navigating a Divorce?

If you are going through a divorce, we encourage you to work with a professional and ask yourself the questions above, as well as many more. If you have decided that divorce is indeed the right thing for you, our experienced Naperville, Illinois divorce lawyers at the offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. can provide you with the legal guidance you’re looking for. Please contact our law offices today for your initial consultation.