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Divorce, while difficult, can be a blessing in disguise

When people in Massachusetts think about divorce, generally the first things that come to mind are all negative. While it may not always be a pretty process, getting a divorce can often prove more positive than the alternatives.

For example, traditional marriage was once akin to a life sentence for those who were deeply unhappy, or even physically or emotionally abused. In prior generations, the stigma of divorce meant that people who found themselves married to the wrong person had no chance to ever get their life back on track; many of these men and women spent their lives in interminably unhappy marriages rather than obtaining a divorce.

Divorce also has legal ramifications and protections that can drastically simplify the break-up process and allow both parties to move on with their lives. In recent years, the new trend of simply cohabitating without marriage has become increasingly popular, but if these relationships go sour somewhere along the way, the parties may wish they had actually been married.

When people cohabitate, and effectively live in some degree or variation like a married couple, the lines get blurred when it comes to property division. While married couples have a convenient forum for resolving disputes and formulating divorce settlements and parenting agreements, people who were never married have to go through this process largely without guidance or legal authority.

So while divorce is generally viewed as a negative thing, there are significant advantages, both personal and practical, to being able to use the legal system to officiate a breakup. Divorce doesn't have to be overwhelmingly draining either; an experienced family law attorney can explain how divorce mediation and other options can be ideal for one's particular situation.

Source: The Atlantic, "Till divorce do us part: being married briefly can be a blessing," Conor Friedersdorf, April 11, 2013

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