It may have been just recently that you uttered the word “divorce” for the first time, or you may have been thinking about it for quite some time. From celebrities like Amy Winehouse or Leland Chapman to more conservative figures like Charles Stanley or Marie Osmond, divorce seems rampant. Surely no one enters into marriage thinking that it will end in divorce, but it’s becoming more and more common in our society. 

As you contemplate divorce, consider the following:

Take a long, hard look at your situation. Contemplate the things in your marriage that are working, and the things that are not.

If your safety or the safety of others in your home is at risk, get help today; contact National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Discuss your situation with close friends or family members who know you well and want what’s best for you. Often those closest to us can see things about us that we cannot.

Next, seek the counsel of a qualified counselor or clergy member. Qualified counselors and clergy members generally have seen hundreds of marriages, those at their best as well as those at their worst. Perspective from such “professional” counselors may prove invaluable.

Finally, consult with a licensed divorce attorney in your area. No two divorces are identical, but all divorces are subject to state and federal law. A licensed divorce attorney is the best source for information on your rights and options under the law. Don’t just assume you know how divorce works because you’ve talked to a close friend or family member about their divorce, or because you watch legal dramas on television. Get the facts from an experienced, qualified divorce attorney.