Getting a divorce is a difficult situation to come to terms with, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. A couple going through a divorce normally faces a myriad of emotions – failure, fear, disappointment, anger and unhappiness.
Lawyer Rajan Chettiar explains the reasons why procrastination is common in divorce proceedings. It can take a long time for a client to face and accept the fact that his or her marriage is breaking down. Even after consulting a lawyer, I see clients taking a long time to take effective steps to solve their marital problems. This could be due to a variety of reasons:
- Fear of the other spouse’s reaction and a change of behaviour towards them.
- Being in denial that the marriage is over. Divorce is often an emotional life-altering experience. I always ask my client, “what do you want?”. If you’re sure you want a divorce, act swiftly. By taking effective steps, the client feels he or she is solving the problem and is in control.
- Hoping that time can solve any marital issues. The client has to ask himself the purpose of giving himself more time. Is there a practical issue that hinders him from solving his marital problems? If so, what is the best solution? ls there a real possibility of resolving the differences? Does his spouse share the same goal? If so, what steps are both parties taking towards resolution?
- Busy with work and other commitments. What could other commitments possibly take precedence? This is just an “if the client’s career is more important than their personal life”, then this could well be the underlying issue! And will he or she be as effective at work if their personal life is in limbo?
- Confusion, as a result of “advice” from family and friends. Support of family and friends is important, but at the end of the day, the client’s life and marriage is his or her own. The most important counsel for the client is a marriage counsellor and lawyer.
- Maintaining status quo, rather than facing an unknown future. Is this what the client really wants? Living with constant stress and fear does more harm than good. lf fears are confronted what is the worst thing that can happen?
Remaining in an unhappy and hopeless marriage does not help either party. If something is broken, don’t we try to fix it? And if it can’t be fixed, wouldn’t we throw it away? If you’re experiencing difficulties in your marriage try to resolve these issues with your spouse, and instigate the help of a counsellor, relative or friend if necessary. Set a time period by which you hope these issues would be improving and if there’s no improvement, your next step is to seek legal advice.
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This article does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter discussed and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and practice in this area. If you require any advice or information, please speak to practicing lawyer in your jurisdiction. No individual who is a member, partner, shareholder or consultant of, in or to any constituent part of Interstellar Group Pte. Ltd. accepts or assumes responsibility, or has any liability, to any person in respect of this article.