If your marriage is not doing so great, you may be considering asking your spouse for a divorce. Unfortunately, many people see divorce as the only option when they are not happy with a marriage, and they rush into making a decision that can change their entire life. Before you start the process of filing for divorce, you'll want to try the following two things.

Try a Trial Separation

One step you can take with your spouse is to try a trial separation. This is essentially an informal agreement between the two of you where you will live separately for an agreed-upon period of time. It can give the two of you an idea of what it will be like to be divorced, without actually going through the legal process.

It can be difficult to do a trial separation in some situations, especially when it's hard for each person to live on their own financially. It may not be possible to rent a furnished apartment, stay at a hotel, or live with a friend or family member. If so, take steps to make as much separation as possible, even if that includes dividing the house and setting up separate living areas.

One thing to keep in mind is that some states will require a legal separation in order to grant a divorce. If you are living under the same roof but in different rooms, a trial separation may not count towards that requirement of legal separation. It is best to work with a lawyer to make sure that your time apart is counting towards any state requirement so you do not have to start the process over.

Try Marriage Counseling

Another important step to take is to attempt marriage counseling. Many couples decide to not attempt marriage counseling because they perceive it to be expensive, but it's an important step that could potentially save your marriage. Simply having a neutral party to talk about problems and hear advice from can go a long way in working on the problems with a marriage.

It is even possible to receive online marriage counseling, where you can do it from the comfort of your own home. You can discuss your problems with a counselor while having a discussion over a webcam, making the therapy accessible to anybody that has access to technology.

If you try these two steps and cannot work out your differences, consider meeting with a local divorce lawyer to start the process.