When Is the Best Time to Get Divorced?

It didn’t just end overnight. It was a gradual deterioration over months or even years. Finally, you’ve come to that fateful conclusion: Your marriage is over.

But now that you’re seriously considering filing for divorce, you wonder if it’s the right time. 

The question is, is there ever a “best time” to divorce?

Is there a “best time” to get divorced?

As with all life-transforming decisions, the answer to this question is personal. Your situation will be very different from someone else’s; there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. 

Common causes of divorce

We know that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. But the reasons for divorce can be as varied as the couples themselves. The most common?

Neverending conflict: You and your spouse can’t see eye to eye about anything. You bicker and argue, and there always seems to be an undercurrent of anger.

The effort is lopsided: You put all your emotional effort into keeping your relationship at the forefront of your actions and decisions. You always put your spouse’s needs first. Your spouse hasn’t put any effort into your relationship in years. You’re tired and feel resentful.

Infidelity: The very worst betrayal has happened. It may have been happening for some time. There is no more trust and no more respect. You feel used and hurt.

Lack of physical intimacy: You understand sex isn’t everything, but it’s a big thing. There hasn’t been any physical intimacy in your marriage for a long time, and your spouse doesn’t want to deal with it. 

No matter the cause, divorce can be a dance of timing. You have kids, a house, and responsibilities. The thought of going through a divorce in the middle of everything overwhelms you, so you continue to push down your feelings and try harder to make things work. 

People ask: Is it better to divorce or stay unhappily married?

Should you stay in a bad marriage? A bad marriage can mean different things for different people. It can mean physical or emotional abuse, substance abuse, or infidelity. Or, it can mean the spark is gone from your marriage, and you’re wondering if there’s something better out there. 

If your marriage causes you ongoing unhappiness and physical and emotional distress, is there anything left for you to hold on to? If there’s little chance of things changing, staying together may be a waste of your precious time. 

But if it’s boredom and your marriage is simply missing the spark it once had, is it possible that spark could be reignited with mutual effort? Divorce can be emotionally devastating, not to mention expensive. Would your energy and money be better spent trying to turn your marriage around?

Ultimately, you are the only one who can make that decision

4 common reasons people put off divorce

Will you stay or will you go? You’ve been through it all, time and again. You’re ready to leave, but there are concerns that always manage to hold you back. 

1. You can’t afford it

No matter how you crunch the numbers, you can’t justify the cost of a divorce. You’ve read that the average cost of a divorce is between $15,000 and $20,000. And besides the cost of the divorce, you’re trying to envision how you’d manage on your own. You feel financially defeated before you even begin. 

A solution? A cooperative divorce doesn’t have to be costly. You and your spouse would divide your assets. There may be spousal support available in the short term – and child support, if you have children. 

A certified divorce financial analyst can walk you through the financial nuts and bolts of a divorce scenario so you can get the information you need to make an educated decision.

2. The kids

You’re convinced the kids will be okay if you can just hold on until they’re older. But that’s a long time, and in the meantime, you’re miserable. Kids pick up on the emotional energy of a household. And they’re also affected by it. 

A solution? Kids who live with happy single parents are in a much better emotional place than those who live with battling married parents. With cooperative co-parenting, you and your ex-spouse can navigate a divorce that allows your kids to feel stable, safe, and loved and also a life where you can find happiness.

Read: How to Co-Parent on the Same Team

3. You don’t want to hurt your spouse

Your spouse isn’t a bad person. You loved them once, and you’ve had many happy times together. But that’s no longer true. You’re not happy in your marriage, but you know they’ll be devastated, so you stay when you'd rather walk away.

A solution? Nobody benefits from this kind of limbo. Get some marriage counseling, and put work into saving the marriage … or let it go so you can both find the love and happiness you deserve. 

4. You’re afraid

When push comes to shove, you know your marriage is over, but you’re terrified of the unknown. You’ve been together so long that you don't know who you are without that spouse label. You haven’t dated in years. You’re afraid to be alone. Will you ever find someone else to be happy with again?

A solution? Don’t let fear immobilize you. Get support and even some professional guidance. Will you be happier after a divorce? You’ll never know if you let fear rule your decisions. 

The decision to divorce is never an easy one, nor is there ever a “right” time. In the end, it’s about your happiness and whether you believe there’s any chance your marriage could still provide that. 

At Hello Divorce, we’re here to support you through your decisions, whether you decide to work through your marriage or go your separate ways. We offer valuable professional advice to help you make informed decisions and divorce plans that can simplify the process if that is the route you choose. Schedule a free call to understand how we can help. 

Divorce Content Specialist
Mediation, Divorce Strategy, Divorce Process, Mental Health
Candice is a former paralegal and has spent the last 16 years in the digital landscape, writing website content, blog posts, and articles for the legal industry. Now, at Hello Divorce, she is helping demystify the complex legal and emotional world of divorce. Away from the keyboard, she’s a devoted wife, mom, and grandmother to two awesome granddaughters who are already forces to be reckoned with. Based in Florida, she’s an avid traveler, painter, ceramic artist, and self-avowed bookish nerd.