Divorce – How to Break it to Your Spouse
The decision to divorce may be the result of much deliberation, but that does not make it any easier to tell a spouse. Even if there has been trouble in the marriage for some time, announcing the decision to divorce tends to bring up a lot of emotions for both parties. Taking a mental inventory of your reasons for wanting a divorce, planning ahead, and being honest without being combative will help you and your spouse get through the conversation.
Keeping a level head throughout your announcement of a divorce can help you in the long run. When the parties can find a way to cooperate, the process is usually quicker, less costly, and less emotionally draining. Consider these tips before approaching the subject, and consult with a divorce attorney in Florida, about your rights and responsibilities.
Tips for Discussing Divorce
Put Thought into Your Reasons for Divorce
Take the time to really think through the reasons you want a divorce and whether it is in your best interest. Failing to deliberate can lead you to speak out of frustration, hostility, panic, or many other emotions that can heighten tension. If you are not convinced that divorce is the answer, remaining calm and thoughtful can help you discuss other options, like separation, with your spouse.
Plan the Meeting
Give your spouse some advance notice that there is something important that you need to discuss. Plan for privacy and limited distractions. If you have children, plan for someone to care for them so that you are not interrupted.
If you have made up your mind that you want a divorce, be firm but respectful. Conveying uncertainty or trying to blunt the shock by being overly gentle can give a false sense of hope and lead both of you on an emotional rollercoaster. Let your spouse know that the marriage is over, that you have given the decision plenty of thought, and that you want to work together to minimize hardship throughout the process.
Be Prepared for Strife
Negative feelings from a spouse are the rule rather than the exception. Whether it is rooted in anger, sadness, embarrassment, or a mixture of these and other emotions, the chances are high that your spouse will not be happy about the conversation. Know this ahead of time and prepare for it. Resolve to stay calm and understanding even if your spouse seems unreasonable to you.
Divorce Is a Process – Consider Long-term Goals
A divorce takes time and energy, and it is often not complete when the court grants a divorce decree. The divorce process itself, and the relationship you have with your ex after the divorce, are both impacted by how well you can cooperate. A contested divorce, in which you litigate the issues and let a court decide on the terms of the divorce, is much more involved and emotionally draining than an uncontested divorce. Being considerate and thoughtful when you tell your spouse you want to divorce can help put you on the path to an uncontested divorce.
Each marriage is unique, so the details of your divorce will also be unique. Your family situation, business and finances, and emotional dynamic can all play an important role in how smoothly your divorce may go. Speak with a Stuart, FL divorce lawyer at The Law Office of Travis R. Walker, P.A., to take the first steps. We are here to guide you through this time with compassion and competence.
If you have any questions about divorce, explore our Divorce FAQ page to answer your questions.