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Reasons to stay, or go, when the marriage isn't working out

When married couples in Maryland consider divorce, they may wonder if it is the right thing to do, especially if they have children. The decision to divorce is never an easy one, but experts offer some advice that couples can use to help them decide what is best for the entire family.

Divorce may not be the best option if there are financial or other reasons that marriage is beneficial. For example, if one spouse would lose health insurance after divorce. But the financial advantages to remaining married should outweigh the emotional costs of continuing an unhappy union, experts say.

The effects of divorce on children can last beyond childhood. Statistically, children who have divorced parents are less likely to attend college and more likely to have their own marriages end in divorce. Couples who are particularly concerned about the effects their divorce might have on their children might want to choose to stay together.

On the other hand, children sometimes can plainly see that their parents' marriage is in trouble, and staying together might not hide this fact. If both spouses are miserable and the kids can see it, ending the marriage might be the best option for everyone's happiness.

One other circumstance under which divorce is best: If there is abuse in the relationship. Getting out of the situation rather than letting it continue is always advised.

There are legal alternatives to divorce, including legal separation. In Maryland this is called limited divorce. A limited divorce means that the couple is still legally married, but the groundwork for divorce is set. A limited divorce is like a trial period, after which the couple can decide if they wish to have a full divorce or remain married.

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