What to think about when planning to ask for a divorce
After coming to the difficult decision that you want a divorce, usually, your next step is to tell your spouse. Some couples decide together that they cannot save their marriage. But more often, it takes one spouse to step forward and end things.
Not that it will be easy. As much as you no longer want to be married, you also do not want your divorce to be any more difficult and drawn-out than necessary. The way you break the news to your spouse could have a big impact on how cooperative — or difficult — they will be when it comes to things like child custody, asset division, spousal support and so forth.
5 strategies for the divorce conversation
So you have to be thoughtful about how you plan to tell your spouse that you want a divorce. Here are a few tips to help:
- Choose a quiet time when you are not fighting and the children are out of the house.
- Be kind but firm. Let them know that you have thought a lot about this and you cannot stay in the marriage anymore.
- Give your spouse the chance to react. They will likely get angry or upset. They might blame you for the marriage’s downfall, accuse you of breaking up the family, or something similar. Do your best to stay calm and listen.
- What your spouse says will probably be tough to hear. But resist the urge to “hit back” by telling them all the things they did wrong during the marriage. You don’t have to defend yourself or your decision.
- Instead, calmly emphasize that your mind is made up, and you don’t want to argue about who is to blame. You want a civilized divorce that addresses everyone’s needs as much as possible, including your spouse’s.
This will be the first discussion you and your spouse have about divorce. Setting the expectations now that you will not be persuaded or bullied out of it but that you are prepared to be fair and reasonable can help you and your children a great deal as your divorce progresses.