Is there ever a good or bad time to file for divorce? The answer may surprise you. When a marriage is no longer satisfying, or is just downright bad, it may be tempting to cut and run as quickly as possible.
Believe it or not, there are certain advantages to delaying proceedings at times and to expediting them at others. Here are several considerations that you'll want to make when deciding whether or not it's time to declare "I don't."
Child custody and support issues
The most common reason that couples stay together much longer than they wish is for the sake of the children. Child custody and support issues can be quite contentious in a divorce proceeding that is already fueled with emotion. While you may have fewer of these problems to sort out the longer you wait, are you willing to sacrifice years of unhappiness to do so? These are personal choices that each individual will need to make.
Legal separation and benefits
In many states, a legal separation is either an option or a requirement and can have several benefits to couples who use it. In a legal separation, couples are living apart but are still married and eligible for certain advantages. For example, you can still file joint tax returns in some states. Also, many health insurance plans will continue to provide coverage for separated spouses, but not divorced ones.
Finally, if a marriage lasted at least 10 years, a divorced spouse may be able to receive enhanced benefits so couples may be able to use legal separation as a means to get them to that 10-year mark.
High-conflict issues in marriage
If there is high-conflict in your marriage, particularly one involving children, that entails yelling, threats, and even physical violence, there really is no choice of delay in divorce proceedings. Divorce in these situations provides an element of safety and relief that has probably been missing for some time.
If you're looking for the perfect time to file for divorce, you may not find it in most situations as all marriages are different. Your best course of action is to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable divorce and child custody attorney that can help you make these informed choices.