When is it the “right” time to file for divorce?

The Divorcerer Speaks: When is it the “right” time to file for divorce? I am asked this question nearly every day and although I have had nearly 15 years in this business to cultivate the best answer, I often feel like I still don’t have one. The honest answer is that there will never be a “right” time to file for divorce.  Just like many other things in life, whether a change in career, having a child or moving to a new city, finding the “right” time to do it may never come.  The day-to-day routine of life or the worry of the impact of the change can prevent you from moving forward, even if it is in your best interests.  On the other side of the discussion is to really consider what is holding you back; are you holding back because you think there is a chance at reconciliation, a therapeutic intervention or do you just need a cooling off period? Due to the enormity of the decision to file for divorce, most people take ample time and great consideration before moving forward and usually know in their “gut” when it is time.  The fact that they are asking the question usually means that they are just steps away from the action of filing for divorce. I just don’t push anyone with such a heavy inquiry in either direction, as they need to get there in their own time and for it to be their own decision.


Jennifer R. Ward has exclusively practiced in the matrimonial and family law field for nearly 20 years. Furthermore, Ms. Ward is Adjunct Faculty at the John Marshall Law School teaching family law legal drafting to law students and has done so since 2005.

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