You know that you want to end your marriage. You've known it for years. Things have fallen apart. You and your spouse barely speak and you usually fight when you do communicate. Your spouse subjects you to constant emotional abuse. You can't remember the last time you felt happy.
Here's the problem: You have two children who are still in high school. You feel like you should wait until they go to college to file for divorce. Is that wise?
A common solution
This is a fairly common tactic that parents use. They feel like divorce while the kids live at home will be very hard on the children. It puts their lives into disarray. It makes them more a part of the process than if you wait until they move out of the house. That's not to say it doesn't impact them after college starts, but it's certainly not the same.
But does that make it the right solution?
A happy home
Waiting may not prove as beneficial as you assume. Some experts advise parents not to wait, especially when the marriage is breaking down and family life is already growing more turbulent.
It's one thing to end your marriage because you have a new love interest or because you just feel like being single. It's quite another to end it because you're suffering from emotional or even physical abuse.
In cases like that, waiting could do more harm than good. As one expert put it: "All kids should have the right to live in a home where at least one parent is happy and emotionally well...I believe that it is way more important for the kids to either live in a peaceful home or to see their parents living separate and happier lives."
Essentially, waiting to end the marriage until the kids leave just means they get trapped in an unhappy home that is full of stress and anxiety. If you're worried about creating stress and anxiety with a divorce, you need to understand that they're already experiencing it.
Granted, there are a lot of different factors that come into play. What do the children want? What living conditions do they have? Will it be difficult for you and your spouse to divide up custody time or pay child support? You have to think about exactly what the divorce is going to look like in your specific situation. It's different for everyone.
That's why it's critical to consider all of your legal options and the steps you'll need to take. In this unique situation, you need to know how to move forward and focus on the children's best interests.