Jane-Ashley McMillan, Attorney at Law

Having second thoughts on your divorce?

Most people have second thoughts when deciding to end a serious relationship. If you are having second thoughts about your divorce, here are a few considerations you should make.

Can I stop a divorce?

Whether or not you are able to stop a pending divorce has to do with whether you filed for divorce and whether your spouse has acknowledged the action. If you have filed for divorce and your spouse has not acknowledged the action, you may easily alert the court clerk to cancel the petition.

However, if your spouse filed for divorce, he or she is the only one who can stop the action.

If you and your spouse have both acknowledged the petition to divorce, you will both be required to sign off on canceling the divorce action if that is the decision you come to. This can generally be done at any point before the divorce is finalized.

Is reconciliation a good idea?

Every couple is different, so there’s no catch-all answer for whether or not reconciling your marriage is the “right” decision. However, it is important to know that it’s extremely common for divorcing couples to question their choice.

In Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief model, one stage is called “Bargaining.” In divorce, experiencing this stage often involves making exceptions for the person you are losing that you wouldn't normally make. You may feel desperate to return to the way things were even if they were not perfect because there was comfort in the routine of things.

Keep in mind what’s important

While having questions, doubts and second thoughts, it’s best to keep in mind what is most important. If you have children together, ask yourself whether you and your spouse will model positive relationship communication to your child. Studies show that children who are regularly exposed to high-conflict normalize the behavior, leading to a stronger likelihood that they will divorce some day.

Also, consider your own mental and physical health. Even if your marriage is not catastrophic and your spouse is a good person, it's important to consider whether the marriage is a positive influence on your life. Can you communicate successfully with this person? Are the two of you dedicated to one another? Can you work together and will you continue to work together for years to come?

If your finances are causing you to question your decision to divorce, you should seek the counsel of an attorney. A Family Law lawyer can help you assess what your finances and custody arrangement might look like after the divorce, as well as whether you may be entitled to spousal support payments.

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