Is it Better to Divorce Early or Late?

If your marriage is on thin ice, you might be wondering whether you should “tough it out” for a few more years or simply get it over with and head for divorce. This is a common question for spouses in the Tar Heel State, and the answer is not always easy. The truth is that there may be benefits to both approaches, and the right path depends entirely on your unique situation. If you keep a marriage going that is obviously failing, things could get much worse – and you might wish you had divorced earlier. But what factors should you consider if you are asking this question? Is it better to divorce early or late?

Why Waiting Might Be a Bad Idea

At first, it might seem like waiting a few years is the most cautious and logical approach. After all, things could get better. In addition, many spouses take the commitment of marriage very seriously. You might be thinking back to your vows, which probably included the words “till death do us part.” But waiting might be a bad idea for several reasons.

First of all, you might end up putting yourself and your children in a dangerous situation if you allow certain behaviors to continue. Your spouse might be somewhat controlling and manipulative today, but their actions could become physically violent in the next few months or years. You might think that if you confront your spouse with the possibility of divorce, they might become violent. But you can shield yourself from harm with protective orders and a simple call to the local police.

In addition, your financial situation can become worse if you wait. The longer your marriage continues, the more your finances become intertwined with that of your spouse. You may struggle with things like commingled assets, which become very difficult to unravel during a divorce. For example, you might receive an inheritance later in your life and use those funds to purchase a family home. If you put your inheritance towards a marital asset, you might never get it back.

In addition, your spouse might have a gut feeling that you are considering divorce. If so, they might start funneling assets and funds into offshore accounts to conceal them. They might also start funneling their wealth into untraceable cryptocurrencies. This can make it extremely difficult to get your fair share when you finally decide to move forward with a divorce.

Many parents also believe they should stay together for the kids – or at least wait until they graduate high school. The logic is that when kids reach a certain level of independence, they are less psychologically scarred by divorce. However, keeping the marriage going in this manner can expose the children to an extremely negative environment filled with constant fights, screaming matches, and tension. In addition, some experts argue that children fare better when they experience divorce at a younger age. This is because they are too young to have formed fond memories of the entire family acting as one unit.

The Benefits of Divorcing Later

On the other hand, there are indeed some benefits to divorcing later. The most obvious upside is that things might get better if you wait. Perhaps your current conflicts are based on temporary events, such as the pandemic or a job loss. Sometimes, couples actually become stronger if they push through disputes, work out their differences, and learn more about each other in the process. Couples’ counseling or a meaningful discussion can go a long way.

It is worth mentioning that North Carolina essentially forces you to “wait it out” whether you want to or not. This is because the state mandates a one-year separation period before you can move forward with the divorce process. In other words, you might as well file for divorce and take that 12-month period to try and make things work.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Divorce Attorney in North Carolina?

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have assisted numerous divorcing spouses in North Carolina, and now we are taking cases in South Carolina. We know that it can be difficult to walk away. During your consultation, we will assess your unique situation and determine the best route forward. From there, you can decide for yourself whether you would like to pursue a divorce. Reach out today to get started with a solid action plan.