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Considering divorce? Try taking a breather first

If the supposed divorce rate is to be believed, about half of married couples in New Orleans will go through a divorce this year. Whether or not it is accurate, this rate should make some spouses realize that they may not be happy in their marriages, that they want something more or want something different. And while arguments may be riddling your current relationship, you owe it to your spouse, yourself and your children to take a timeout and think about the situation before jumping right into divorce. This could do one of two things: you could realize that you want to continue the marriage and work harder on it, or it could allow you to begin preparations for a divorce.

During a timeout, spouses should look at the future and reevaluate their current feelings towards it. If your spouse is in it, then perhaps you'll stay married. But if she or he isn't in the picture, then maybe it's time to pull the plug. Other options during a timeout include visiting a therapist, realizing that blaming your spouse will not help the matter and giving co-parenting a shot. This last option is a very viable one no matter what the outcome of the timeout because co-parenting is extremely important to the kids. When a couple divorces and co-parenting is not part of the plan, the children may struggle because both parents are not in their lives.

Many experts will agree that if co-parenting is possible, it should be practiced. This means that you and your former spouse continue to work together to raise the kids, even though you are no longer married. Parenting plans are often drafted during the split to determine who will be responsible for what and how certain situations regarding the development of the children will be approached. Visitation and communication guidelines should also be included in a parenting plan to ensure that both of these things regularly occur, as long as both parents are deemed responsible enough to raise a child.

Source:  Huffington Post, "Can Taking a Timeout Save Your Marriage?" Lois Tarter, Sep. 09, 2013

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