07/28/2014 06:21 pm ET Updated Sep 27, 2014

How Do I Know if I Should Get a Divorce?

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Choosing to divorce is a decision not to be taken lightly. It's a life-changing choice that will affect you for many years to come -- especially if you have children. While there's no easy answer to the question,"How do I know if I should get a divorce?" there are certain things to consider that may help you determine the future of your relationship and whether divorce is the right option for you.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Have you made every effort to save your marriage?

Perhaps the single most important factor in deciding if should you get a divorce is whether or not you've tried your very best to resolve things first.

This means many things to many people.

For some, it could be reading self-help books, for others it could be attending either couples and/or individual counseling sessions. Regardless of the method, you owe it to your marriage -- especially if there are children involved -- to make every effort to educate yourself and find out if there's still work that can be done on the marriage.

If you can honestly say that you have made every effort to save your marriage and you still feel as though there is no hope of reconciling, chances are you may be ready to move forward with divorce.

Have you dealt with the emotions associated with divorce?

There's no doubt about it. Divorce brings up intense emotions.

Even if you're the one who is leaning toward calling it quits, chances are you're dealing with all kinds of emotions from hurt and confusion to guilt and anger, or possibly even relief.

If you are asking, "How do I know if I should get a divorce?" the next critical question is whether or not you're effectively dealing with the emotional aspects so that you'll be able to make the important decisions you'll be faced with in the coming weeks and months.

If you need help sorting through those emotions in a safe space, you should seek help from a licensed counselor or a professional divorce coach.

Have you done your homework?

Just as there are countless ways to get married, there are also a variety of choices available for you to achieve a divorce.

Before you decide whether to move forward, make sure you've done your homework and researched all of the available options.

Arm yourself with knowledge about the costs associated with divorce so that you'll be adequately prepared to handle things in the wisest and most efficient way possible.

Are you ready to shift into the new roles that your post-divorce life will bring?

The question, "Should you get a divorce" is one that is two-fold for couples who share children.

That's because even if the marriage ends, you will both still remain in each other's lives for many years to come.

Ask yourself whether or not you're prepared to shift into the new role your post-divorce life will bring -- that of co-parent. It's important to co-parent effectively for the benefit of your children. It will be a challenging new role, but one that your kids deserve so make sure you're ready for this before you move forward with divorce.

Ultimately, the only person who can truly answer the question, "How do I know if I should get a divorce?" is you.

But considering these and other important factors ahead of time can help you make the right choice for you, your future and the future of your children.