Life Events and Divorce

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Oct 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

Major life events such as a health scare or illness, financial setback, or the loss of a loved one affect people in different ways. Some people merely roll with the punches and move on, others can react negatively and find themselves unable to move forward, and yet others use the life event as a “wake up call” and decide that now is the time to make some changes in their own personal life, including getting a divorce.

Pivotal Events and Divorce

But as the author of a Psychology Today article advises, it is probably best to not make any major life decisions for at least 90 days after going through something traumatic such as a heart attack, a major move to another city, or the death of someone close to you. The author calls these “pivotal events” because they cause someone to question what they are doing with their own life and therefore resolve to make a change—including getting a divorce.

Illness or Medical Event

The marriage vows people took may have included “in sickness and in health,” but many couples find that going through a major medical crisis strains even the best relationship. The sick spouse may recover from their illness or medical event and feel like they have been given a second chance—a chance that gives them the courage to leave what has been a loveless marriage. Or maybe the sick spouse discovered that their partner was either emotionally or physically unable to care for them and they decide to move on.

Major Financial Change

Another scenario that could cause someone to consider divorce would be a major financial change. Perhaps one spouse has been contemplating getting a divorce but knew that financially she would not be able to be independent on her own. If that spouse suddenly inherits a large sum of money, she would then be able to pursue a divorce knowing that her financial future is now secure.

Likewise, financial hardship can be the downfall of any marriage. Whether it's poor decision-making when it comes to investing or retirement planning, one spouse may blame the other for the situation they are now in and decide that enough is enough.


Sadly, many couples who have found that they no longer love one another decide to stay together for the sake of the children, either consciously or unconsciously. But when the children grow up and leave the nest, one spouse may find that the reason for staying in the relationship has also left the nest.

North Carolina Divorce Laws

Many people in North Carolina may be surprised to learn that by law, a couple has to be legally separated for a year before they can file for divorce. It may seem like an antiquated idea, but in all honesty, it can be a good idea if one partner has just gone through a pivotal event. At the end of the year, they will know for sure whether they are ready to make the separation permanent through a divorce.

Jerkins Family Law

If you have questions about separation or divorce, contact  Family Law attorney Jay Jerkins. He has the experience and insight necessary for a positive outcome.

About the Author

Jonathan Jerkins

Jonathan "Jay" Jerkins, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, intentionally focuses his practice on all aspects of North Carolina family law litigation and negotiations. Jay was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 2014.


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