In most cases, thoughts of divorce are transient and typically disappear once the issues causing the stress and conflict are resolved. But it is when thinking about divorce becomes a recurrent or ongoing preoccupation, that the viability of a relationship needs some serious consideration. The test of a failing relationship is when the balance between what is good about it and what is bad about it - consistently tilts toward the latter. It is when being in the relationship becomes a burden with little or no apparent benefits. When a relationship reaches this point, it becomes very clear that there is little reason to keep it going.

At times like this, people are challenged to consider options - whether to stay married or to divorce. The decision to stay in a marriage is a personal one. No one can make that decision, but you. What may be intolerable for one person may be reasonably okay for the next. In the end, each person will have his or her own reasons for staying or leaving a marriage based on their own needs and circumstances.

There is a lot at stake in making the decision to stay married or divorce. Rarely, do people wake up one morning and impulsively decide they have had enough. The decision to end a marriage is a very difficult and painful one to make. Even though divorce rates are at an all time high, society in general, still values marriage. As such, the decision to divorce does not come easily. Aside from consideration such as children, money and assets, letting go of hopes and dreams can be extremely difficult.

In assessing your future and whether or not to stay married, it is best to take your time and carefully consider this important decision.

In helping people cope with the stress of divorce we consistently emphasis the following:

guiding clients to gain a realistic perspective of the divorcing process and what lies ahead for them as their new life path unfolds
emphasizing the need to be child focused to alleviate the distress experienced by children during the divorcing process. This can be done by applying the following guidelines:

o Offer children a model of solidarity because this will reduce their anxiety and instill a sense of security within them. This can be done by sitting down with your ex and making an affirmative parenting plan that focuses on meeting the needs of your children.

o Make a commitment to yourself and to your ex that you will each agree that you will absolutely not make disparaging remarks about each other to your children. As well, do not tolerate hearing any disparaging remarks about either parent from your children.

o Divorce is a time when it is important to establish new and clear boundaries. If at all possible, attempt to agree on boundaries and behavioral guidelines for how to raise your children so that there's consistency in their lives, regardless of which parent they're with at any given time.

o Try to keep the lines of communication open with your ex regarding all aspects of your child's development and welfare. Never use the children as vehicles of communication when it has to do with issues that the parents should otherwise be dealing with themselves.

o Divorce is a time of change that can also be quite stressful, During these times, children may be prone to testing a situation and manipulating boundaries and guidelines. This is especially true if they feel there's a chance to get something they may not ordinarily be able to obtain. At these times, it's important that you and your ex compare notes with each other before jumping to conclusions or condemning one another about what may have happened.

Marriage Counseling

We also encourage that parties contemplating divorce, should attend Marriage Counseling. Marriage counseling for people seeking divorce can serve a number of purposes. First and foremost, it provides an opportunity for people to clarify their reasons for ending their marriage. Getting clarity helps people feel that their decision to divorce is the right one. It also helps people achieve closure on their marriage. For some couples, exploring the issues in their marriage that led them to the brink of divorce sometimes leads to an opportunity to rebuild rather than divorce.

For most, marriage counseling for people seeking divorce leads to just that - a divorce. In most cases, the last ditch attempts at saving a marriage really amount to "too little - too late". When a couple reaches this realization, then it is time to begin focusing on the business of parting ways in the most respectful, logical and economical manner. For couples who have children, planning for parenting post separation and divorce is an important consideration.

The Law

To prove that your marriage has ended, you must show the Court that one or more of the following facts is true:

that your spouse has committed adultery, and you find it intolerable to live with him or her
that your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with him or her
that your spouse has deserted you for at least two years
if your spouse agrees to the divorce, that you and your spouse have been separated for at least three years
if your spouse does not agree to the divorce, that you and your spouse have been separated for at least four years

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