If divorce is on your mind, you owe it to yourself to do whatever it takes to make your life better.Some people come to find that asking for a divorce in the near future is the best thing they can do.

Others realize they’re not quite ready to push forward, but would rather attempt to work through things one last time.

If you have reason to believe that divorce is the answer to your problems, here are some questions you should first address:

  • Have you tried to save your marriage? You have the right to divorce if you want, but you should first do whatever it takes to make things right between you and your spouse (if you want to, of course).
  • Is this the only option you have? It’s easy to believe that divorce is the only way out of a bad situation, but there may be other answers. For example, marriage counseling may help you get your relationship back on track.
  • Are you prepared for the divorce process? There are a lot of unknowns, so you don’t want to push forward until you know what the process entails and how to deal with everything you will face.
  • Do you understand how divorce will change your life in the future? You shouldn’t stay in a bad marriage because you’re afraid of how your life will change. However, you should understand the impact it will have on your life, such as where you live and how you raise your children.
  • What will your spouse say? If your spouse has already brought up the subject of divorce, you know he or she is on the same page to a certain degree. Conversely, asking for a divorce may blindside your spouse, thus making your situation even more difficult.
  • What can you do to protect your finances from this point forward? You have to do what’s best for you, which means creating a financial plan you can trust.

These questions are never easy to answer, so you shouldn’t expect to breeze through them. Instead, it can take a lot of thinking and digging around to come up with the right answers.

If you decide to move forward with the divorce process, focus on your legal rights and doing whatever is best for you (and your children if you have them) at this time. This is the first step toward a better future.