No spouse wants to languish in divorce, but hurrying to freedom can be harmful. Matrimonial experts suggest quick divorce settlements are as damaging as gnawing too long on bones of contention.

Divorce often makes spouses believe they’ve lost their grip. The emotional upheaval is temporary, despite how it feels. Some individuals wade through heartache quickly by agreeing to every ex-spouse proposal that comes up, often at the expense of future economic stability.

Partners stripped of feelings by a surprise divorce or spouses broadsided by heretofore unknown affairs may go to extremes to preserve or end a marriage.

Some spouses believe the faster a decree is granted the more quickly the pain will end. In fact, a hasty settlement may just be the beginning of extensive financial troubles. The opposite response is to drag a spouse through legal purgatory by battling over every support issue, custody arrangement or asset. The personal and financial toll becomes staggering for both parties.

Most marriages end after one or both spouses experience long bouts of conflict or unhappiness. Dissatisfaction is frequently well rooted before spouses move to divorce. A relationship built over time usually does not end after one disagreement.

A divorce decision represents a final sum. Advisers say settlements require equal, careful consideration. Hurt is a weighty motivator during divorce, which can get in the way of a fair agreement.

Counselors suggest sharing negative feelings with family members, friends or therapists. Emotions need a safe outlet, not one that can overextend litigation or destroy finances. Third-parties help divorcing spouses see that the days to come may be better than the ones left behind.

On a practical level, spouses can hire advisers who do not give knee-jerk reactions because of a personal emotional investment. Financial, emotional and legal counselors provide practical advice that makes sense for the long run — the place a spouse wants to be when the storm passes.

Source:, “Divorce: Take Time for Emotional Clarity in Decisions,” Bari Zell Weinberger, March 19, 2013