9 Major Reasons Not To Get A Divorce — Yet

Why you should wait to get a divorce, even if you want one.

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So you’ve had it with your spouse and thinking that it’s over. You're mentally prepared to move on and just waiting for the right opportunity or the next major blowup to pull the plug. There are many reasons why you might want to hit the pause button. You are hastily making a short-term decision that may not serve you well in the long run. You don't have exhausted potential sources of help to repair the marriage. You also overly emphasized the positives of being free versus the negatives and failed to address your shortcomings and character flaws that may be contributing to your unhappiness.


Each of these deserves discussion in its own right. The point of this piece is to identify primary reasons you may want to hold off before you tell your spouse that you’re done with the marriage and want to move on (even if your spouse has already told you they want a divorce). Unless you or your children are at risk of physical or serious psychological harm, here are 9 reasons why you should pause before pulling the trigger on a separation or divorce.

RELATED: The 5 Most Common Reasons People Get Divorced (& 5 Unusually Specific Ones)

Here are 9 major reasons you don't want to get a divorce yet:

1. You might not have enough money to pay your bills (e.g. your mortgage/rent, groceries, utilities, car payment, attorney’s fees)

2. You could jeopardize custody/shared custody of your children



3. You might make a knee-jerk decision on the wrong divorce process and lose a substantial amount of time and money

4. Your retirement could be compromised

RELATED: 8 Harsh Things About Getting Divorced (That Few Will Tell You)


5. Your credit could be destroyed

6. You could lose assets, money, or property to which you’re entitled if you don’t understand the nuances of property division and taxation before you put the divorce in motion



7. You might say or do stupid things that will damage your future divorce settlement, your relationship with your (ex) spouse, or your children

8. You could lose access to important information and documents that could make getting an optimal settlement more difficult and/or expensive to obtain

9. You might unnecessarily leave money on the table if you jump too soon (e.g. future social security benefits, bonuses)

RELATED: 10 Harsh Things I Wish I Had Known Before Getting Divorced

What can you do to avoid these mistakes? Start with a Certified Divorce Coach®. They can help you explore if you’re ready for separation or divorce and, if not, what steps you might take. If you do decide to move forward with a separation or divorce, they can assist you with determining how to tell your spouse, children, family, and friends, as well as choosing the right divorce process and lawyer. You should also talk with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) who can look at your complete financial picture and assess what impact a divorce could have on your ability to pay your bills, keep your house, put the kids through college, or fund your retirement.

Additionally, you should talk with two or three different family law attorneys to identify where you may be vulnerable and how best to proceed legally. If you know or suspect your spouse has serious psychological or psychiatric issues, talk with a qualified psychotherapist about how to best move forward. If you or your children are at risk of physical harm, this is imperative! Above all, protect yourself and your children. It may very well be that the best path for you and your children, overall, is a divorce. A few years from now, you’ll be really glad you took the time to address the issues that could adversely affect your long-term outcome.


RELATED: Why You Should Get Divorced At Least Once

Berni Stevens is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® and a trained mediator and divorce coach. She is the founder and CEO of TruNorth Divorce Solutions.