Opting to end your marriage by filing a divorce petition is a major decision. In addition to reaching the point where you give up on the idea that the marriage itself can be salvaged, there are numerous issues concerning money, property, and children to consider. How do you know when you should file for divorce? While these are personal decisions, the following can help guide you in making the right choice.
When to File for Divorce
There are couples who put off the process of obtaining a legal divorce, even though the marriage is over or they have been living separate and apart for years. For some, it has to do with their religious beliefs about divorce or the impact it might have on their reputation in their personal or professional lives. For others, it may be a matter of retaining important benefits, such as the rights to health insurance. While these can be acceptable reasons in certain cases, there are other situations in which your best option is to file for divorce. These include:
When you are ready to enter a new relationship: Even if you and your spouse are separated, dating someone else is considered adultery and could be used against you at some future point.
If marital misconduct is a factor in your case: Under the South Carolina Statutes, you may be granted a divorce on the basis of irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse or on the basis of fault grounds, such as adultery or habitual drunkenness. Fault grounds may influence other proceedings, such as alimony awards and the division of marital property and assets. However, if you remain married to your spouse after you discover their misbehavior, it will be viewed as condoning it. This could prevent you from being able to bring it up at a future date.
If you have been abused by your spouse: In cases of domestic violence, filing for divorce can protect your safety and wellbeing while helping to ensure you get the professional help and financial support you need to rebuild your life.
Filing for Divorce First
Even if there are no issues with new relationships, marital misconduct, or domestic violence in your particular case, there are still benefits that go along with being the first to file for divorce. According to Forbes, these include:
It allows you time to gather all the important documents you need
It gives you the chance to create a thorough inventory of all the marital property and assets you and your spouse possess
It gives you time to make well thought out plans and a budget for living on your own
It allows you to consult with an attorney and to develop a strategy for dealing with any issues that are likely to arise in your case
Contact Us Today for Help
If you are considering a divorce, the Surasky Law Firm, LLC. provides the trusted legal guidance you need. To request a confidential consultation, contact our Aiken divorce attorney online today.