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How to SWOT up on the pros and cons of staying married

You may be reading this blog after returning from your annual summer holiday feeling more exhausted than before you went away. Not only exhausted; you may also be gravely worried that your marriage is falling apart.

Summer holidays can be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. I know this because the start of September is one of the busiest times of year for divorce lawyers. I’ve explained previously some of the reasons why holidays can prove so disastrous for marriages – having unrealistic expectations, spending 24 hours a day with your partner when you rarely see them in “real” life and rowing about the children, to name but a few.

If your holiday this summer turned the cracks in your relationship into a chasm, you may be contemplating making an appointment with a divorce lawyer. However, I would
advise you to think long and hard before doing so – yes, I’m turning away business here!

Divorce is a gruelling process and its consequences are far-reaching. I’m not suggesting anyone dissolves their marriage on a whim, but I do think some people don’t weigh
up sufficiently the pros and cons of getting divorced versus staying married.

What I would suggest is that you put the Yellow Pages to one side for the moment and set about compiling a SWOT analysis – a strategic planning method used to evaluate Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats involved in a project or business venture (which, let’s face it, is what a marriage boils down to). This involves specifying the
objective of the venture/project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable to achieving the objective. In other words, it’s about detailing and evaluating the benefits and disadvantages of staying married versus getting divorced. For example, leaving your spouse might afford you more personal¬† freedom, but if you’re going to end up financially poor, how will you be able to enjoy that freedom?

Conversely, you may lose the family home if you split from your spouse, but a more bijou residence could serve you just as well, if not better.

On one level, opting for divorce is an emotional decision, but marriage is about much more than emotional ties – there are practical and financial bonds that are arguably every bit as important as the fact you’ve fallen out of love with your partner. That’s why compiling a SWOT analysis can help you think through all the implications of divorce and reach a balanced decision.

If you’re still dithering, I would recommend ‘phoning a reputable divorce lawyer to talk through the SWOT analysis results and see if he/she can give you a steer to get your
relationship back on track, or otherwise. A consultation with a good solicitor may help to save your marriage – and save you a fortune in the process. It’s surely worth a shot.

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