Are there reasons not to get divorced? There certainly can be, and it’s a valid question if you’re considering divorce and it has not happened yet. In other words, it is still up to you at this point. However, if it’s something that you’re contemplating, maybe there’s some things you’re just not happy about, but you’re working on it and you’re kind of weighing your options, seeing it as really more of a choice, there definitely are some things you should consider.
If it’s a long-term marriage and you get divorced, you may have to pay spousal support. If you’ve been married more than 20 years, and you make quite a bit more than your wife does, then you’re a good candidate for having to pay some spousal support, also known as alimony. So now part of your pay is going to your ex-wife, at that point your ex-wife every month for an undetermined amount of time (depending on the situation). There are certainly guys that find that they’re more in control of their finances after the divorce, and even if they’re paying out some money like child or spousal support ,it’s better than it was because some marriages are just this feeling of things being out of control with the spending, you really don’t have any control over what happens with your income, your wife either isn’t working or isn’t making that much money, not contributing to the household very much, whatever it is.
There definitely are some downsides to being obligated to have to pay somebody, whether it’s child support or spousal support. Also when you’re also looking at long-term marriage you’re looking at splitting your assets half and half. If you own a house, you’re gonna have to try to figure out what to do with the house: are one of you going to keep it? If there’s quite a bit of equity in it, now you’re looking at “how do I get my wife half of the equity and move on?” If you own a house that’s worth $300,000 and owe $200,000 on it, that means it’s $100,000 in equity, meaning you have to come up with $50,000 somewhere to buy out your wife. Of course you could borrow against the house, but now you’re incurring debt, adding to it instead of getting things more paid down.
If you have children together, minor children, there are a lot of considerations to be made. When there are children, you’re going to have to work out what’s going to happen with custody/parenting time, child support, where your kids stay primarily, it changes everybody’s lives going forward. Now the kids have mom’s house and they have dad’s house, how’s that all going to work? Where are they going to stay? When are you going to see them? When is she going to see them? You also have to consider that as far as weekends, holidays, school schedule, summer schedule. There’s going to be holidays you’re not going to see them, and there’s holidays that your ex-wife won’t be able to see them, because they can’t be in both places at once, it’s a whole new world with all that kind of stuff and figuring out what that looks like.
Again, just addressing the issue of whether you’re looking at divorce as an option for you as opposed to things that are just not solvable. You will have to go forward and basically go your separate ways, but with splitting things up, you’re also looking at splitting retirement accounts, making life-changing kind of differences to your assets. What to do with liabilities, how to figure all that out, things to think about, it affects your family. If you’ve been married a long time, you are looking at your wife’s family, is your family at that point, so what’s that going to look like? Your in-laws, you’re just never going to have contact with these people again, are you never going to see your wife’s family again? You want to be thinking ahead about all that before you get into something you can’t really change. If this was something you could have saved, something you could have worked on, you want to know before you make those choices.
What’s the long-term effect of your divorce? Because it can have a big impact, many things need to be considered. It’s definitely a life altering decision, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. The bad thing is staying in a bad marriage, a bad marriage is certainly no good for your kids, there’s lots of lots of research to support that that staying together for the kids is really just a myth, if you’re not happy and you’re not going to be able to work it out, staying together and just making everybody miserable and prolonging the inevitable. Sometimes a divorce just isn’t your decision, it’s something your wife’s decided, or it’s just completely impossible to try to go back from whatever it is that’s happened, but if you’re just sort of considering it and weighing the options, you’re probably more likely to try to work it out and try to save things, because you’re not going to go rushing into this life-changing decision where it makes everything different for everybody involved for no good reason. There certainly are some valid reasons if you’re going as far as getting a divorce, and going through all that time, the cost, and the aggravation you’ll have to deal with.