Marriage has its highs and lows, but things can happen when those lows start to indicate more than temporary trouble in paradise. Staying in an unsatisfying relationship can have unpleasant effects on your emotional and physical health.

Filing to legally end the marriage is often necessary if counseling and other save-your-marriage tactics do not work. Consider the following concerns before filing.

Relationship timing

When divorce becomes the only way forward in a marriage, it is important to consider the timing. Make your intentions known too soon and risk making your spouse hostile and uncooperative or being ill-prepared. Wait too long and your partner may hide assets, or you may lose access to accounts and shared items. In short, you may lose an advantage you might have otherwise had.

There is no perfect time to file for divorce. But your timing can affect everything that happens between the moment you file the paperwork and the moment the ink dries on the divorce settlement.

Emotional preparedness 

Knowing the relationship is over is not the same as being prepared for it. Depending on the depth of feelings and respect and the circumstances that contribute to the demise of the marriage, you might not feel ready to start the formal divorce process to legally end things. It is important to place some focus on emotional health in divorce. The more you mentally prepare for the process, the easier it is to navigate the different issues you may encounter. 

Financial readiness 

Divorce can hurt your finances. To protect your financial situation, fully assess your spouse’s accounts, retirement plans, benefits and all other assets. Get your financial affairs in order. Many people who divorce find it beneficial to work with professionals such as accountants, financial advisors and attorneys.

Going through a divorce is sometimes the only way to move on. Consider the timing to make the transition more manageable for everyone.