"I Want a Divorce" - 5 Tips for Breaking the News
There is never a perfect time or way to tell your spouse you want to end your marriage. Unfortunately, the news will be difficult to share under any circumstances. The conversation is very likely to be emotional, and your spouse might respond with feelings of anger or hurt. However, there are certain things you can do to make it easier for both you and your spouse when you tell them you want a divorce. It is also important that you prepare yourself for divorce on a practical level before you inform your spouse.
Find out what you can do to prepare to break the news to your spouse.
1. Prepare Before Approaching the Situation
Every relationship shares different dynamics, so it is important to remember that you know how to handle conversations with your spouse better than most. Try your best to keep your intentions in check and to deliver the news as kindly as possible. You don’t want to be cruel, hurtful, or unnecessarily emotional because it will only make the situation more difficult. Even if you and your spouse are not on good terms, bringing more contention into the situation could only make matters worse.
On a more practical level, you should also make sure you are prepared to support your statements with action. Once a divorce is on the table, things could get more hostile between you and your spouse, so it is always a good idea to take steps ahead of time to protect your finances and properties. Make sure you have at least one account that is entirely your own that your spouse cannot access. Also, collect copies of essential documents, such as your marriage license, property papers, tax forms, and other important deeds, contracts and such.
It is wise to consult with a divorce attorney before you initiate a divorce. They can help you understand your legal options based on your unique situation and help you be prepared before you begin the divorce process. There may be things you hadn’t considered that your attorney can help with.
2. Try Not to Make It a Surprise
That being said, some spouses may feel blindsided by the news. If you and your spouse have been dealing with issues for a long time, he or she will likely not be surprised when you ask for a divorce. However, if some of your issues might not have been as apparent to your spouse, he or she might be shocked. In any marriage, it is always smart to try to open the lines of communication and to discuss any issues between the two of you before it gets to the point where one of you seeks a divorce. In any case, if you fear your spouse may be blindsided, be especially mindful of breaking the news gently and explaining your reasoning.
3. Choosing the Right Time and Place
Make sure when you do decide to break the news that you’ve considered the timing and the location. You do not want to start this conversation in public, or around your children, friends, or family. It should be a discussion the two of you share in private, preferably when you have plenty of time to discuss as much as either of you want. You don’t want to break the news and rush off, giving your spouse little time to react or discuss the matter with you.
On the other hand, if you are worried that your spouse may take the news poorly and you fear for your safety, it might be best for you to choose a neutral, safe space. For example, you might inform your spouse in front of a therapist, or in a private yet public space where your spouse would be less inclined to become physical. If you are in a violent or otherwise abusive relationship, you might also consider going to your lawyer first in order to protect yourself.
4. Choose Your Words Carefully
Consider the words you would like to use ahead of time. Practice a few phrases or words in your head, or maybe even write it down just to get your thoughts in order. You want to be kind and calm, but still direct enough to ensure that your spouse knows you are serious. Be prepared for the emotional reaction you may receive from your spouse. He or she might not take the news well, so anticipate dealing with that in the best way you can.
5. Alternately: Write a Letter
If you do not believe your spouse will take the news calmly, especially if he or she is abusive, or if you and your spouse are not on speaking terms, you might consider writing a letter to declare your wish for a divorce. While writing a letter may seem easier, providing your spouse with a written document can sometimes be more significant than a conversation. If you do intend to tell your spouse you want a divorce in writing, always have your lawyer review the letter or email before you send it. This is for your own protection and your lawyer can also offer you invaluable legal advice early on in your divorce, which can only benefit you further.
Ultimately, telling your spouse you want a divorce is likely to be one of the most difficult conversations you ever have. The legal proceedings that follow can also be tricky. To make sure you start out the process right with a divorce attorney you can trust, reach out to our divorce attorneys at McKinley Irvin.Contact McKinley Irvin in Oregon for legal help regarding your divorce.