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4 key factors in the decision whether or not to divorce

The decision of whether or not to end a marriage is likely one of the most significant ones a person will ever make. It's based on different factors for each couple.

A recent survey by the National Divorce Decision Making Project looked at how couples made the decision to either stay together or divorce. Researchers found that four major factors were most prominent among the thousands of people interviewed for the study. Some are based on emotions, while others are more practical considerations.

Love: This is a complicated one. Some people said that they decided to stay in a marriage despite its problems because they loved their spouse. Others seemed uncertain of whether they were really in love or just convinced themselves that they were in order to make the marriage work.

Happiness: This was another emotional factor. A number of people pondered whether they were happy in their lives and whether they would be happier without their spouse. Some noted that their spouses' level of happiness affected their own.

Money: This was a practical consideration for many of those interviewed, as it is for just about every couple considering divorce. A divorce often means a change in both people's standard of living. When there were children involved, that was an even bigger factor.

Children: That brings us to the fourth factor. For some, that was the most important consideration in determining whether to stay in an unhappy or unsatisfying marriage. People didn't want to hurt their kids. On the other hand, some determined, as couples often do, that the constant arguing was more detrimental to their kids than breaking up would be. People who can come to a settlement amicably often choose divorce mediation to minimize the stress for their children.

For most people, the decision to divorce is one that's arrived at after much consideration, both together as a couple and individually. If you believe that it's a possibility, it's essential to start getting a plan in place to take care of yourself and your children on your own. A Florida family law attorney can help you be ready to make the move if and when you determine that it's the right one.

Source: Family Studies, "The “Big Four” Factors in Americans’ Divorce Decisions," Kelly M. Roberts, Payton Birlew, Steve M. Harris, and Sarah M. Allen, May 17, 2016

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