How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce to Keep things Amicable How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce to Keep things Amicable How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce to Keep things Amicable Michele Hart Law

Date: April 23, 2021 | Author: Michele Hart

If you’ve come to the sad realization that your marriage is over and don’t know how to tell your spouse, this article is for you.

You might have put in a lot of hard work and energy to save the marriage, but things just haven’t gotten better.  You know you need to move on.  And you feel comfortable with your decision.

You know it’s time to tell your spouse you want a divorce.  But what should you say?  How do you say what might be the hardest thing you’ll ever have to say?

Generally speaking, how you tell your spouse will likely determine how the divorce process will unfold for you.  And if you have kids, the way you break the news to your spouse can help or hurt your co-parenting relationship.  These tips can help soften the blow to your spouse and keep the divorce amicable:

Timing is important.

If you have children, make arrangements for them to be out of the house.  Allow enough time for the conversation.  Eliminate distractions by turning off your cell phone.

Practice what to say and how to say it.

You might say “I think you’d agree that we’re making each other miserable.  I’m concerned if we keep going this way we’ll end up hating each other.”

If you have children, you might offer “Our kids deserve better. They deserve to have two parents who are each happy, and not be destined to model what we’ve been like in our marriage.”

Clearly convey to your spouse you are committed to remaining respectful and reaching an agreement that works for both of you.

Prepare yourself for a variety of responses from your spouse such as anger or attempts to manipulate you into changing your mind.   Avoid becoming reactive or defensive.

Do not try to convince your spouse that this is the best option.  Keep the conversation focused on the future, not the past, and who is at fault.

If the conversation turns toward fault or legalities, dividing assets, or paying support, simply reiterate your commitment to remaining respectful of your spouse’s feelings and reaching an amicable outcome.  Then end the conversation by offering to give your spouse some space.  The time to address the legal issue will come later as your spouse adjusts to the reality of the divorce.

Be firm yet sensitive.

You can remain firm while being compassionate.  Be compassionate and respectful. Understand your spouse might not want the divorce.  Avoid wavering which could give your spouse false hopes for saving the marriage.

How to tell your spouse you hired a lawyer.

It’s generally best to prepare yourself by consulting with a knowledgeable divorce and family lawyer about outcomes to expect and how to resolve the issues in the divorce out of court.

Before you tell your spouse you’ve hired a lawyer, gauge if the timing seems right and tell him or her in a way that makes it clear you’re not looking to fight.

For example, you might say something like “I know you wouldn’t want to have the kind of lawyers involved who cause more damage and cost us money that would be better put to use for our kids and our future.  That’s why I chose someone who focuses on reaching agreement through settlement with the goal of staying out of court.”

Approaching your spouse with compassion and sensitivity can go a long way to making your divorce amicable.

Important Note: The above is not intended to address situations where domestic violence exists or is likely to exist.

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