The Collaborative Divorce Center

Divorce Options: Wait for Divorce

Divorce Options: Wait for Divorce

The case to wait for divorce.

In this video I’m going to talk to you about one divorce option that might be very surprising to some of you. And that’s the option to wait to divorce–to not file for divorce at the time that you make the decision to divorce.

So hear me out on this, normally when a couple decides to call it quits it goes like this. The couple decides, or one of the couple decides the marriage is over. Next they hire divorce professionals, lawyers (collaborative or litigating), mediators, financial specialists, custody evaluators, whoever they think they need. And then they file for divorce. Finally they spend the next 6 months, 12 months, 18 months to divide up assets and create a custody plan. All the while conflict is running very high, there may be some sabotage going on. If one spouse doesn’t want the divorce things can feel very very difficult. Then the couple tries to figure out their future living with half of what they had. Plus with twice the amount of expenses.

Wait for Divorce for the sake of the kids

And don’t forget, kids are going to bear the brunt of this split. Because parents are dealing with stress, and everything is really hard for a really long time. In some cases, where there’s been an extremely unhealthy or unsafe dynamic. In that case an immediate exit is the only option. Someone needs to file for divorce and there needs to be temporary orders put into place. When you know staying another minute with the person is not viable. But, for the majority of couples on the brink of a divorce, there is a lot more latitude. You can take your time and map it out. And I would submit to you that the divorce is going to happen much faster. It will be much less expensive. And it’s going to be much less traumatic if couples have the maturity to handle it this way.

The Details of waiting for divorce

So, here’s what that looks like: the couple decides the marriage is over. And there may be some time where one spouse has decided and the other hasn’t and that’s a difficult time. But once both partners have gotten to the place where they accept that the marriage is over, they can then wait for divorce and map out a plan. A 5 year financial, parenting, and emotional exit plan. I say 5 years, it could be 1 year, it could be 2 years, whatever the couple can tolerate. And then they take steps to build reserves up, so, a divorce savings account maybe, or someone that needs to go back to school and get more skills, or if they need to pay off debts, or maybe they need to buy another home while they’re still married.

Then they also have time to prepare the children for life with parents living apart. So they’ll spend time with the kids separately. They’ll reassure the kids that the relationship is changing but that the kids will always be loved by both. And that the family will always be a family. And then, once the couple meets all of the goals that they’ve set for themselves, everyone is financially stable, and the kids are stable and comfortable that their life is changing now, then the couple hires divorce professionals. Lawyers, collaborative or litigating), mediators, etc. And so on and so fourth, and then they file for the divorce.

The main reason to wait

It makes so much sense. And what I have found in my practice is when folks come to me after that time period of adjustment, the divorce happens easily, quickly, and very inexpensively. The proceedings are complete in a minimal amount of time, in Florida there’s just a 20 day waiting period, so a couple could divorce within 30 days of the date they first come to me. We’ve got two individuals who land on their feet, they’re financially stable, the kids are happy, the parents feel a sense of relief, and are ready to move on.

Now, I know that’s a very ideal situation and I’m somewhat of a Pollyanna person to think that that could happen. But I’ve seen it happen and I’ll also say that if that ideal situation isn’t possible, there are still a lot of good options that do not involve traditional litigation which will harm relationships, stress out a family, cost a lot of money, and take a long time. You can read about most of those on my website at and of course I always love to talk to you personally, if you’d like to reach out my phone number is (386) 271-8044

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