How to Ask For a Divorce: 5 Tips for the Tough Conversation

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If you have come to the decision that a divorce is the best option for your family, you are likely now trying to figure out just how to ask for a divorce.

Asking For Divorce The Right Way

Divorce may be an emotional and stressful situation, but there are some steps you can take to help make it easier for everyone involved. If you have decided that a divorce is the best option, here are 5 tips to help you approach the big conversation.

1. Timing is everything

When you decide to ask your spouse for a divorce will play a huge role in their response. There may not truly be a good time for the conversation, but there are definitely times that are better than others. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing the best time to bring up the topic of divorce:

  • Distractions will be harmful: Try to choose a location with minimal distractions, and a time of day when there will be few other things on your mind. Turning off your cell phone and asking your spouse to do the same is also a good idea.
  • Avoid the conversation while under the influence: If either you or your spouse have been drinking or are under the influence of drugs, the divorce conversation should be avoided – emotions are heightened and decision making is slowed when someone is under the influence.
  • Make sure your children are not present: If you have children, make sure they are not present for the conversation. Either choose a time while they are out of the house (like for school) or be sure to secure child care for them
  • Consider your spouse’s current obligations: If your spouse is under a deadline for work or school, do your best to wait until that has passed before bringing up the divorce.

2. An Experienced Divorce Attorney Can Provide Valuable Guidance

Many people don’t realize that they can seek assistance from a divorce lawyer before they even bring it up with their spouse. An experienced attorney will be able to provide advice for approaching the conversation, as well as help you make sure you don’t make any mistakes that might put you in an even worse situation.

3. Your Counselor’s Office May Be The Best Place For The Conversation

Marriage counseling is far more common than people may realize. In fact, around 44 percent of married couples seek counseling at some point during either their engagement or their marriage. If you and your spouse have worked with a counselor, consider asking for divorce while in a counseling session. A few reasons your counselor’s office may be a good place to ask for divorce include:

  • Your counselor will be able to provide a safe and neutral location for the discussion
  • Your counselor will be able to help mediate if tensions grow out of control
  • Your counselor can help set up ground rules and boundaries for the future as you and your spouse begin to navigate the next steps.

4. Be Careful With Your Tone And Avoid Being Accusatory

The topic of divorce is one that should be treated delicately. Feelings are bound to get hurt and tensions are bound to be high during such a conversation. Speaking in a loud, tense tone, and making accusations will only make this conversation harder. Keeping your cool will help the conversation run more smoothly.

Accusatory statements will be inflammatory in such an emotional conversation. One way to avoid making accusations is by making “I statements” instead of “you statements”.

5. Discuss The Efforts That Have Been Made To Save The Marriage

Most couples will have tried all sorts of things to save their marriage before a divorce becomes inevitable. Couples will speak to therapists, religious leaders, or other counselors. They may try actively spending more time together and even take vacations away from their children. When asking for a divorce, you should gently remind your spouse about all the steps you have already taken — and that they have not succeeded in saving your relationship.

Need Help Preparing for a Divorce? Speak With A Lawyer

Telling your spouse that you believe your marriage cannot be saved and that it is time for a divorce will be a difficult conversation regardless of how much preparation you have done. But by following these few tips you will at least be able to alleviate some of the stress.

The number one thing you can do to help make your divorce process as smooth as possible is to work with an experienced divorce attorney. A lawyer will be able to walk you through the divorce process and help you through any challenges that may arise in your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


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