15850 W. Bluemound Rd. Suite 304 • Brookfield, WI 53005

15850 W. Bluemound Rd. Suite 304 • Brookfield, WI 53005 • 262-788-5335

When You Know, It’s Over, Is There a Best Time to Divorce?

Questions to Consider when Going into a Divorce in WI

If you have been unhappy in your marriage and have reached a point where you believe the relationship is beyond repair, you may be thinking about filing for divorce. However, when you walk away from a marriage, you know that there will be significant emotional and financial consequences. There may never be an ideal time to introduce this kind of chaos into your life, but when you know your marriage is over, is there the best time to divorce?

Attorney and Mediator Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law understands the complexities of deciding when to divorce. She has extensive experience helping clients understand their options and connects them with resources during and after their Wisconsin divorce case.

The “Perfect Time” to Divorce

It’s essential to begin by recognizing that there will probably never be a “right” or “perfect” time to tell your spouse you want a divorce or have them served with papers. Taking that action will be the beginning of a torrent of emotions and legal consequences that you may never be fully prepared to confront. You also have no way of knowing what your life will look like after the divorce, or of being sure you have made the right choice.

Every circumstance is different, and you will have to consider whether you can continue living in your marriage versus moving forward with a divorce.

a clock with a couple mug separated and the other has red "x" mark. A sign that it is the best time to divorce

Some factors can be more compelling than others, however. Here are some questions that may help you decide if the time to divorce may be right for you:

Is There Abuse in Your Relationship?

If you believe you are in an emotionally or physically abusive situation, the time to get help and get out of the relationship is now. It’s crucial to develop a plan to leave the relationship safely, however. End Abuse Wisconsin has information on community resources for safety planning during divorce when there is abuse. Contact a domestic violence support professional and a divorce attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your options.  

Are You Financially Stable?

Getting divorced could mean having to live on half of the resources you have had as a couple. If you and your spouse have both been working and contributing to savings and retirement plans with relatively comparable income, that’s one thing. However, if one of you makes considerably less or doesn’t work, it’s another. Have you considered your budget post-divorce?

Can you expect to be financially stable? Are there steps you can take now to achieve that goal? Being financially realistic is a part of planning for divorce. If your preparations are not in place, it’s probably time to get started.

Are Your Kids Ready for the Change?

Children are never emotionally prepared to see their parents split up, and telling them will never be easy. That being said, certain times may be better for kids to hear about the divorce than others. For instance, if your child is having a serious medical procedure or is going through mental health treatment, delaying the divorce would be better.

Additionally, timing the news about your divorce near major holidays, a child’s birthday, or a special school event is not ideal. Waiting until a school year is over is often helpful also.

Telling your kids together in the most supportive way possible to help make things easier on them. There is never going to be a great time, but the way you do it—without blaming each other and reassuring them that they are loved and not at fault for the divorce—will matter.

Are You Obsessed with the Thought of Leaving?

Another factor to consider is how much of your time and mental energy is spent focused on thoughts about divorce. There is a tipping point where living in an unhappy marriage is not worth the emotional price or psychic energy. If you have become so uncomfortable in your own home that all you think about is leaving, you may need to start making an exit strategy.

Do You Have a Reason to Delay?

Divorce can be both an emotional and practical decision. You may be in your final semester of a graduate program, or your spouse may be in the process of completing a significant project at work. Your child may be graduating from college, or you or your spouse may be unemployed. It may also be that you just need more time to figure out the logistics and mentally prepare to make this kind of transition. If you have a reason to delay and you can hold off on moving forward, you may need to do so.