Friday, September 28, 2007

FAQ regarding Divorce # 2: Should I get divorced?

Sometimes people want a lawyer to tell them whether they should get a divorce or not. This is usually not the function of a lawyer and any guidance in this area is personal opinion, rather than legal advice, so please treat it as such and proceed carefully. However, most attorneys will use their experience to explain the circumstances under which someone may want to proceed with a Divorce and the possible outcomes from such proceedings. Each lawyer will explain it differently, but here are some common situations when we agree that a spouse would be justified in filing for Divorce:

a) Physical Abuse – No one should be required to live with the fear of being physically battered when there is a disagreement among spouses;

b) Adultery or Cheating on you by your Spouse – Marriage implies an element of exclusivity. Although no one is perfect, if your spouse insists on maintaining relationships outside of marriage, then Divorce would seem appropriate;

c) Alcohol or Drugs – Again, no one is perfect, but if the substances control your life (such as interfering with a normal relationship with you, your children, or with work obligations, or results in repeated criminal incidents) then Divorce is understandable.

Oftentimes, people cite to financial problems, mental cruelty, mental or physical problems, or irreconcilable differences, as grounds justifying divorce. Every relationship probably has an element of each of these issues. The question is whether such problems and/or differences destroy the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship. If you have unsuccessfully tried counseling and/or medical intervention, or your spouse is unwilling to obtain help or change, then it is understandable that you want to end the marriage.