Butler Giraudo & Meister
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Don't procrastinate when it comes to filing for divorce

The decision to divorce should not be taken likely. That being said, often unhappy spouses spend long years or months attempting to fix a broken or dead marriage well after they know it's past the point of saving. For the sake of one's own happiness and that of shared children, it's important to take action and file for divorce sooner rather than later.

Of course, at face value, the advice referenced above makes sense. However, when an individual is actually faced with the prospect of filing for divorce, things become much more complicated. When contemplating divorcing a spouse, emotions such as love, regret, guilt and empathy often interfere with an individual's ability to think clearly and rationally. There are, however, some definite signs that a marriage needs to end.

Infidelity has no place in a happy and healthy marriage. If one or both spouses have an actual affair or think about having an affair, it's a clear sign that something is lacking from the marriage. Likewise, a couple who seemingly can't speak to one another without nit-picking or fighting is often using these passive-aggressive tactics to avoid talking about bigger problems within the marriage.

Many married couples with children believe divorce would devastate and scar their kids for life. In reality, kids are resilient and most would much rather see their parents happily living apart than miserable and still married. To avoid really harming their children, moms and dads who are using their children as an excuse to stay together, would be wise to file for divorce as soon as possible.

In many cases, it's also wise to end a marriage if a spouse has a problem with drugs or alcohol. In cases where a spouse is an alcoholic or drug addict, a sober spouse may feel extreme guilt, empathy and sadness when contemplating leaving a struggling spouse. The reality of the matter, however, is that an individual must often lose what's important before he or she realizes they need help. Also, in cases where kids are involved, a sober parent must protect children from witnessing and being put in danger by a spouse's drug or alcohol abuse.

For some individuals, regardless of how unhappy and dysfunctional a marriage may be, leaving is hard. However, post-divorce, these same individuals will likely wish they had left a marriage long ago.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Is It Time to Get a Divorce?," Honoree Cordor, June 17, 2014

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