When and Why is it Important that you are BOTH Ready to Get a Divorce?

Nobody goes to marriage to plan divorce, but if many or some aspects of divorce are going wrong for a long time when do you know your marriage is over? There is no precise formula, but certain symptom which getting noticeable usually by one person are:

You are feeling there is no proper connection between you which used to be present;

Trivial issue for discussion frequently triggers a fight;

You are not engaged in social activities together as you used to be routinely engaged;

When you disagree, your spouse and you cannot compromise;

You feel like it impossible to respect your spouse;

You use to share with your spouse interesting or important info the first. But he is not a first now;

You are not care about knowing your spouse’s work, problems and life;

You are optimistically thinking about life without your spouse and those thoughts make you feel better.

Based on the above signs when do you know your marriage is over? The process of disconnecting from your marriage usually takes couple years to make you completely ready. However, where you spouse in his time line of disconnecting from the marriage?

Many people are thinking that the question “when do you know your marriage is over” is only one side question. Yes and no. Legally, California is no fault divorce state. No fault divorce means that neither of you need to prove fault in order to get a divorce. If you want divorce, you spouse cannot stop you under any circumstances. You would think in such case. Does it matter where is my spouse on the timeline of disconnecting from our marriage. In no fault jurisdiction we get divorced anyway.

It is important because even with no fault divorce, if your spouse is not ready, his emotion would significantly prevail over making decision rationally. That why litigation in the courts could take years. The court does not address emotional aspect and not willing to explore an opportunity for your best outcome of divorce. It is especially important when you have children and many issues which should be addressed in divorce.

There are legal, psychological and social dimensions of divorce.  Legal is returning to single status. It impacts people economically by changing two economic units from one. In addition, the new parenting relationship must be established.  Physiological dimension is detaching from the marriage commitment and regaining autonomy through emotional separation. Which is usually two years process.


When contemplating whether your marriage is over, it is indeed important to recognise the range of signals that might suggest you and your spouse are growing apart. As you have well articulated, various signs such as a breakdown in communication, frequent arguments over trivial issues, loss of interest in shared activities, and envisioning a happier life without your spouse can all be indicative that the marital relationship is in serious jeopardy.

Understanding where you both stand on the timeline of disconnecting from the marriage can be critical for several reasons:

1. Emotional Readiness: Divorce can be an emotionally taxing process. Even in jurisdictions that allow for no-fault divorce, if one spouse is not emotionally ready to proceed, they may consciously or subconsciously resist the process, resulting in a prolonged and more contentious divorce.

2. Negotiation and Resolution: When both spouses are on the same page regarding the divorce, they are often more open to negotiation and coming to a mutual agreement on important matters such as child custody, property division, and support. This can greatly reduce the duration and cost of divorce proceedings.

3. Co-Parenting: For couples with children, having a cooperative divorce process is key to establishing a healthy co-parenting relationship post-divorce. Children benefit when both parents are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible.

4. Psychological Closure: If both individuals recognize the end of the marriage, they are more likely to work towards psychological closure, which is essential for the emotional well-being of both parties and any children involved.

5. Fair Outcomes: Being emotionally grounded makes it more likely that both parties will focus on equitable outcomes rather than using the legal system to ‘win’ or punish the other. This might reduce the emotional and financial costs associated with divorce.

6. Personal Growth and Future Relationships: When both partners are ready to let go, they are better positioned to learn from their past relationship, grow as individuals, and build healthier relationships in the future.

It is essential to keep in mind that while knowing when your marriage is over is a personal realization, the actual process of divorce is a legal one that requires both parties to participate. Acquiring the services of professionals such as divorce attorneys, mediators, or counselors can aid in navigating the complexities of the divorce process. Mediation, in particular, can be an effective way to handle divorce amicably, as it encourages communication and joint decision-making, which can be less adversarial than litigation.

Ultimately, a clear mutual understanding about the end of the marriage can make a significant difference in how the divorce unfolds. If you believe your marriage is over, seeking counseling, either individually or as a couple, could be a first step in addressing the situation and determining the best path forward for both partners.


You can read under Mediation section of this website another aspects of importance for spouses to be on the same timeline regarding their dissociation from the marriage.