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The pitfalls of procrastinating over your divorce

There's no denying the marriage is over. You and your spouse may have agreed to end it, or you simply recognize the signs that divorce is inevitable. Nevertheless, taking the steps to formally dissolve the marriage is harder than you expected, and you still haven't made that consultation appointment with a divorce attorney. Your spouse may be losing patience waiting for you to sign the papers.

Perhaps you are thinking things will get better, or you just don't feel emotionally ready for such a big step. However, postponing the divorce process may have a more negative effect on your relationship with your spouse and may actually make your divorce more difficult.

A crowded house

Divorce is a private matter, but allowing time to pass may invite others into your situation. It is likely that the gap between you and your spouse will grow, and other people will begin to fill that gap. Those who insert themselves into your drama may have definite opinions about how your divorce should go. Some intruders may include:

  • Your family
  • Your spouse's family
  • Mutual friends who are now taking sides
  • Your spouse's new romantic interest

The latter may be the most difficult for you. If you hesitate moving forward with the divorce, your spouse may become frustrated and seek a new love interest who could interfere in critical divorce issues such as asset division and custody arrangements.

The finances of feet-dragging

A practical matter is the cost of prolonging the divorce. Professionals involved with the divorce process typically charge hourly fees, and as the total cost of the divorce increases, it eats into the marital assets. Even if you are reluctant to end the marriage, at some point you will likely be on your own, and you don't want to be struggling financially because you prolonged the divorce process.

Additionally, the financial cost may be another frustration for your spouse. The increasing financial burden of a divorce may result in rising resentment against you. This could hinder any efforts at mediation or hopes of an amicable split.

Taking the leap

It's true that divorce is difficult, and the uncertainty of what comes next may cause you to hesitate. However, with the right advice and counsel, your future could be full of possibilities. It is important to emerge from the divorce with a settlement that will provide you with what you need to move forward. Having an attorney to guide you through the emotional rollercoaster of a divorce will ensure that you do not lose your focus on the goal, which is to rebuild a new and positive life for yourself.

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Joseph Brophy Cordell, Attorney at Law
115 1/2 West King Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Phone: 304-707-0673
Fax: 304-263-3378
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