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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

Court Ordered Pause: Part Two

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This is a follow up to Court Ordered Pause.

Wow, you all (or perhaps I should say ya’ll…after all, I am a Texas gal!) gave me quite a bit to think about yesterday. Thank you for the responses from around the globe.

Some of the prolonged waiting periods feel absolutely horrific. My divorce took 8 months due to stalling on the lawyers’ part ($$$) and my ex refusing to cooperate (not producing documents, etc.). Those were the longest and scariest 8 months of my life. I was still subject to his financial and emotional abuses and lived in fear of what bombshell would come in the mail or via the phone each day. I can’t imagine that lasting for years.

It seems like most people are supportive of the reasoning behind a waiting period, but that the actuality is something different. As much as I would like to think that it could be beneficial, I guess it is more likely that in marriages where both partners are willing to communicate and try to work things out, they already have prior to reaching the decision to divorce. And, in cases where they have not, a court order is not going to make them cooperate and it simply becomes a stall on the way to the inevitable conclusion. The courts can control a timeline but they cannot control a person. And, as we all know, it takes two to make a marriage work but only one can destroy it.

Many of you pointed out that there is no waiting period for marriage and suggested that a pause on the front end of matrimony may be more beneficial. I can’t even fathom rushing into marriage, but I know people do. This raises some of the same questions, however. Should there be a process for exceptions (for example, friends of mine fast tracked their wedding because he was undergoing treatment for cancer)? And, again, do we really want the state to make this decision for us?

In an ideal world, people would enter marriage consciously, communicate and work to resolve issues and, if divorce is inevitable, enter into it only after other options have been explored and exhausted. But ideal isn’t real. All we can do is make the best decisions for ourselves and our families that we can in our given situation. As for me, I’m happy to be moving slowly back into matrimony with a guy that doesn’t believe in rushing into divorce while living in a state that allows me to make my own choices on the matter.

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12 thoughts on “Court Ordered Pause: Part Two

  1. The government is too involved already. There should not be a waiting period for either. Two adults who produce valid documents proving their age and citizenship should be able to get married when they want to. Same with divorce, though with that there has to be a fair division of property and an agreement for child support/custody arrangements for minor children. But there is no reason for the state to arbitrarily stick its nose in and impose waiting periods at either end.

  2. I’m with you on these points, Lisa. It is NOT the job of the state, or anyone else, to babysit what two people decide to do with their marriage. After all, whose marriage is it?

  3. I completely agree that waiting period is meaningless because by the time someone files for divorce, you would hope that there had been discussions before, maybe counseling, to try and save the marriage. And even if not, by the time you take that step it’s normally to late anyway so what is the point of making people wait longer.

  4. The pause seems meaningless if the marriage has broken down. It is much more difficult to proceed when one party refuses to accept there will be a divorce, as in my case, and that meant because he wouldn’t agree it took well over a year to go through. Not ideal on either side, as the waiting in limbo is stressful and can lead to even more acrimony. My lessons learned and much more are what I now coach women on.

  5. I have never been divorced so I can’t say with any authority…but like Elizabeth I am from Australia where there is a 12 month wait before divorce can be filed. that doesn’t mean that you can’t separate physically and financially during that time. I don’t really understand what the problem is with that. Marriage is a serious business and it should be difficult to undo. maybe that’s why i have never been married đŸ˜‰ although i have been in a defacto relationship for 13 years.

  6. I probably will be among the minority saying I should have waited longer to marry, then chosen to divorce more quickly. I have been in counseling with two husbands in the past for over a year apiece. Neither person changed what I felt were ‘deal breakers’ once they were in counseling. I have read that people can change, but it takes both and a lot of work. One ex I knew four years, then although I grew up and had kids, he remained in the happy hour too long. Never thought that partying in college would lead to alcoholism and he was a ‘mean’ drunk. The second ex I knew for over a year, maybe not long enough but an extra child (ours) led to pressure and fighting, which is so weird because he had two with first, I had two. who would have thought he would decide sleeping with at least 3-4 people would be acceptable parenting? Just spilling a little, there are no predictions but I do feel more able to make a decision since I have been single for 6 years now. I think you were right not to leap into a second marriage and right to want the broken marriage to be over!

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