Considering divorce? You are not alone—nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce. As marital issues escalate, you may see divorce as your only option. If you are not involved in marriage counseling, you may be wondering how to bring up divorce to your spouse. It can be a challenging first step.
Your initial conversations can affect the entire divorce process and every aspect of your family’s future. Taking this first step effectively can reduce conflict and cost as you navigate the legal steps needed for a divorce.
Here are tips we gathered from relationship counselors and divorce lawyers to help you create the best foundation possible for moving forward.
Be Open to Getting Professional Help
Consider broaching the subject in couples counseling. A therapist with a marriage discernment approach can help both of you speak openly to determine whether divorce is the only option. You may also benefit by obtaining input from a lawyer and/or child specialist individually or jointly.
Consider When, Where, and What to Say in Advance
Try to avoid bringing divorce up in anger, when children may be present, or in any setting where you may have safety concerns. Be clear and honest about how you feel and why you want a divorce. This does not mean a lengthy list of your spouse’s faults that is likely to trigger a defensive and angry response. It does mean sharing why you are considering or have decided on divorce.
Be Clear and Compassionate
This is particularly important if your spouse may not want a divorce. Again, this is a time to consider meeting with a joint counselor who can help facilitate the often difficult and painful conversations about separation and divorce. You can’t control your spouse’s response, but you can control your own words and reactions. You may need to listen to your spouse’s different perspective and feelings, allow time for consideration, and come back to the conversation another day.
Understand Your Legal Process Choices
You have the choice of an individual consultation with a lawyer or a joint education meeting for both of you with a lawyer mediator. That choice will have a profound impact on the process and outcome of your divorce. If possible, consider and suggest meeting together with a mediator at the outset to get neutral legal input about ways to restructure your family and your finances and options for next steps.
There is No One Right Way to Do It
You know yourself and your spouse better than anyone. Think about how to bring up divorce to your spouse in a thoughtful, calm, and respectful conversation and plan in advance. Doing this at the outset will give you and your family the best prospect for a healthy future.
Contact us today to schedule a free initial phone call with one of our experienced lawyers who can help you weigh options for next steps. For more information to help you make a decision that is right for you and your family call (414) 273-2422.