You are 100% sure that you want a divorce — and 100% certain that you are dreading the conversation you need to have with your spouse. They’re not a bad person, but the two of you are just not a good match.
Telling your spouse that a divorce is coming is never going to be easy, and handling the situation badly can lead to unnecessary conflicts down the road. Here are some tips that may help you get through the process without having the conversation go nuclear:
- Choose your timing and location carefully. You don’t want to announce your decision on their birthday or when the kids are in the next room. Pick a time without emotional significance and a place where there is an opportunity for a long conversation, if needed.
- Don’t bargain or argue. There’s no point in dragging out the inevitable by agreeing to counseling or another try with your spouse if you know your heart isn’t there. Nor is there any point in arguing about what went wrong. Focus on the practical steps you need to take next, not the “blame game.”
- Don’t make a lot of sudden demands. It’s hard enough for your spouse to hear that you’re leaving. Don’t rub salt into their wounds by handing them a list of demands regarding the marital property, custody of the children or support. All of that can be handled at another time.
- Be as kind as possible. You don’t want to lie, but you also don’t want to inflict any extra wounds. Look for positive, forward-thinking things that you can truthfully say. Something like, “We both deserve to be happy, and we can’t do that together,” can help keep the conversation focused around the idea that divorce can actually benefit you both.
Once you’ve made your decision, make sure that you take the time to speak with an experienced family law attorney. That’s the best way to fully understand your rights, your obligations and your options for a better divorce.