For many of us, Valentine’s Day can mean contemplating divorce instead of romance. There is nothing wrong with thinking about ending your marriage during this time of year, or any time of year for that matter. You don’t need to press pause on your divorce journey to pay homage to St. Valentine. If you are one of the many who finds themselves in this position, we wanted to share a few thoughts we hope will be helpful:
Honor your feelings
Contemplating divorce on a day when others are celebrating love can be very sad. It’s another reminder that you are not where you want to be in your life right now. Remember that while today may be Valentine’s Day, there will always be another day that makes you sad about the state of your marriage: a child’s birthday, your wedding anniversary, Easter, and on and on. There is no “good” or “right” time to begin a divorce, just as there is no good time to stay in a stifling marriage; not for you and not for your children. Stay aware of your feelings and don’t brush them aside. They are information for you: a reckoning that you deserve happiness and love in your life.
Empower Yourself with Information
When contemplating divorce, the legal process can feel like having to pass a final exam without actually taking the class. It is overwhelming and intimidating. Forget Valentine’s Day, this is not a good way to feel on any day. Not having this information can make us feel disempowered. How to take those first legal steps, much less finalizing a divorce, tend to come at us all at once. Unless you’re a family law attorney or have personally been through divorce before, you won’t have all these answers. The good news is the answers are out there.
Start by making a plan to answer some straightforward legal questions about divorce in your state. If you are unsure what to ask, your county or state family law court website will often do it for you in a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section on the divorce section of the website. Take some time to absorb and reflect on what you learn. This process will give you a clearer picture of the legal path before you and help reduce some anxiety you may have been feeling.