There are many positions you can take in divorce, depending on your initial situation. According to an article by Bruce Derman, Ph.D. and Wendy Gregson, LMFT, there are three dilemmas that most people face when then find themselves headed toward divorce.

1. “I want the divorce, but I am not sure if it is the right decision.”

Divorce is a life-altering decision, so it’s not uncommon to doubt whether it’s the right move or not.

One reason people often hesitate to divorce is due to the fact it generally involves more than just them and their spouse. Most couples have children to consider, and that can be a big factor in deciding what the best step is.

You may feel pressure to make a decision one way or another, but try not to allow other opinions to rule your decision. You may want to discuss your dilemma with a counselor, but involving dozens of friends and family to weigh in on your decision will only make things more complicated. No one can decide what’s best for you except you. Your best bet is to give yourself time to make a well thought out decision. Don’t make a rash and emotionally based decision in the heat of the moment.

2. “I do not want the divorce, my spouse does.”

This can be a very difficult position to find yourself in. If you find yourself here you may feel things are spiraling out of control and you are just holding on for the ride. Finding out your spouse no longer wants a part in your marriage can be emotionally devastating.

When addressing this dilemma, you need to ask yourself if you are hanging onto the marriage by your fingernails simply because you are scared of change. Is there anything in your marriage worth salvaging? And are both of you willing to work at making things better? If only one of you is committed to trying to make it work, it won’t be successful.

It may not be easy to admit and confront the problems in your marriage, but you need to take a hard look at the marriage you are fighting so desperately to save.

3. “I only want this divorce because my marriage is not working.”

Often, if this is your dilemma you might avoid responsibility. You may cast blame for all marital issues on your spouse, claiming that you are faultless. You may have strong feelings of anger toward your spouse for “pushing” you to the point of making this decision.

Being blinded by anger won’t help your case. Spewing blame around and being unwilling to negotiate because you feel owed for something will only cause additional tension and conflict, which doesn’t make for a conducive environment. You need to work through your emotions and understand that if a divorce is inevitable, being angry will only complicate things.

All these dilemmas are driven by fear. Fear of making a mistake, fear of change, and fear of accountability. It’s important to work through these areas of fear so your divorce can move forward as smoothly as possible. You must be ready and at peace with the decision to divorce, whether it was your decision or your spouses. You may want to speak to a counselor to help you work through the fear or anger you may be feeling. By making sure you are in a healthy mental and emotionally state, you can more readily assist your children through the divorce process as it will certainly be a difficult time for them as well.

Sometimes having an opportunity to speak with an attorney to discuss your situation can be helpful if you are struggling to make up your mind. Speaking with an attorney does not always lead to divorce. Divorce isn’t a magic solution to your problems. There are numerous thing to take into consideration, such as alimony, child support, custody, etc. In some situations, hearing the possible outcomes of some of these factors may make you rethink your decision.

An attorney will provide you with information that may be valuable in helping you make the decision of whether or not to divorce. If you or someone you know is considering divorce in Utah, contact Burton Law Firm to schedule a consultation.


Ken is the founder of Burton Attorneys at Law and finds the challenge of practicing law extremely rewarding. Although Ken has a broad assortment of experience ranging from bankruptcy to civil litigation to criminal law, Ken’s practice is tailored almost exclusively to the area of family law.

He chose to practice in the family law arena because of the positive and direct impact for good he saw in the lives of his clients.

Having twice been named one of Utah’s Legal Elite by Utah Business Magazine, Ken has a solid reputation as an effective advocate for his clients. He is actively involved in local and state bar associations, serves on various boards of directors and with volunteer organizations, and as a mentor for newly admitted attorneys.

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