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Divorce: When Is It Time To Call It Quits?

For many clients, one of the hardest parts about divorce happens even before the papers are drawn. The decision to divorce in itself is one of the most challenging aspects of the process. In this article, we’ll explain why figuring out whether to stay or to go is so hard. We’ll also provide a few tips to help you make your decision.

It’s no secret—marriage isn’t easy. You likely entered into marriage with the understanding that you’ll have to compromise and sacrifice on occasion. That in order to endure, you’ll need to invest time and energy into making your marriage work. Still, the pressure on married couples is immense, especially when children, careers and life’s ups and downs are added to the mix.

Through the years, we’ve learned that most people enter into marriage with the best of intentions. They truly love their partner and want the relationship to stand the test of time. Still, this is much easier said than done. The reasons for divorce are as unique as each individual we work with. For some, a life-altering event such as an illness or injury led to major changes in the relationship. For others, the spouse they married is now a completely different version of the person they once knew.

Other common reasons for divorce include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Infidelity
  • Domestic violence
  • Addiction (substance abuse, gambling, pornography, and more)
  • Inability to communicate
  • Constant arguing
  • Financial transgressions, be it excess spending or hiding money
  • Unrealistic expectations

Should you stay or should you go? 

The decision to stay married or to call it quits is a personal choice reserved for you and your spouse. Sometimes it’s a mutual decision, with both of you agreeing that the marriage is over. Other times, only one spouse wants to divorce and the other spouse has to accept the fact that the marriage is over.

There are many factors to consider when making the decision to end a marriage. For legal purposes though, all you have to do is to state formally that the marriage is over. In 2010, all states in the country, including Rhode Island, began recognizing no-fault as valid grounds for divorce. Simple in theory, yet divorce is anything but simple.

What to consider before getting a divorce

Divorce isn’t a temporary solution—it has a huge impact on every aspect of your life, including your children and family. We’ve worked with many Rhode Islanders who divorce their spouse in an attempt to do what’s best for their children. Even though divorce is ultimately the best choice for these couples, it’s impossible to shield children from all of the negative impacts of divorce.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re considering a divorce:

  • Are you or your children being abused or mistreated? In situations of domestic violence, substance abuse or other potentially harmful circumstances, divorce might be inevitable. Your best bet is to immediately remove yourself and your children from the potentially harmful situation. You might need to file a restraining order to prevent your spouse from living in the house. One of our experienced family court attorneys can help you through the process.


  • Are you or your spouse repeatedly unfaithful? Cheating is one of the most common reasons for divorce. It erodes trust and has the ability to destroy the marriage. Sometimes couples are able to work through an affair, if both are committed to rebuilding the relationship. If you or your spouse are serial cheaters, or otherwise unwilling to be faithful, divorce is often inevitable. 


  • How often are you unhappy? As a general rule, the positive interactions with your spouse should outweigh the negative. Often, the breaking point for couples comes when the majority of their time is spent fighting, arguing or feeling dissatisfied with the relationship.


  • Has your spouse made a dramatic change that impacts your life together? It’s common and even beneficial for people to grow and evolve. Sometimes though, a spouse can change so dramatically that you feel like you’re not even married to the same person you exchanged vows with. If your spouse wanted kids, for instance, but decides after your marriage that they no longer want children, this can be a deal-breaker. Changes in religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or other core values have the ability to completely upend a marriage.


The Choice Is Yours

If you’re still confused after considering these questions, it might be time to obtain third-party help. Enlisting the help of a marriage therapist is often a good first step. Remember, divorce isn’t a temporary solution. It’s something that will impact your family for many years.

At Kirshenbaum Law Associates, our family law attorneys are passionate about helping you through the divorce process. For years we’ve worked to maintain and enrich the well-being of our clients and their families by providing expert legal counsel for family law matters.

For immediate assistance, contact Kirshenbaum Law Associates at 401.467.5300.