When you finally feel you’ve exhausted your options to salvage your relationship, you may wonder how to break the news to your spouse. Here are a few tips you may find helpful when preparing for that discussion.
Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time
Before you bring up the topic with your spouse, it’s wise to spend some time thinking through your reasons for wanting a divorce. For many couples, once the “divorce” word has been used, it may signal a turning point in the marriage that may be difficult to recover from. Although you may not be 100 percent sure that divorce is the right path to take, if you’re thinking seriously about it, it’s likely a signal that something is wrong with your relationship. Thinking through the problems in your marriage will help when you discuss the topic.
How to Approach the Topic of Divorce
Once you’ve made the decision that you want a divorce, there are a variety of ways you can choose to break the news. Here are a few things you may wish to consider when bringing it up with your spouse:
- Location matters. Where you decide to discuss divorce is just as important as when you bring it up. This can depend greatly on the nature of your relationship and knowing your partner. If you expect the discussion to go relatively well, you’ll both likely appreciate a private, quiet location where you can spend the time you need without worrying about closing time, prying ears, or being unable to hear one another due to ambient noise. On the other hand, if you are worried about your spouse’s reaction, a public place might be a better option.
- Consider your partner’s feelings. If you open the discussion with raw, angry emotions, it could lead to a reply that’s similar in tone. You may wish to approach the situation with a level of compassion and understanding that what you’re saying isn’t easy. Imagine the conversation from the other side, and think of how you’d prefer to receive the same message from a partner.
- Be firm. It’s important to realize that being considerate of your partner’s feelings does not mean being a pushover. If you have made up your mind, you can be clear and direct about the fact that you have already made the decision.
Your partner may argue against a divorce. But remember that Washington is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either partner can request a divorce on the grounds that he believes the relationship is broken beyond repair. You do not need the permission of your partner to end the marriage, if that’s what you want. The decision is yours and yours alone.
You also don’t have to go into the technical details in terms of property division, alimony, and so on when you first bring up wanting a divorce. In fact, it’s often better to work on those things later, when you have an attorney to help you make sure that the arrangements are fair to you.
Get Legal Help
You know your partner best, and no single web page can tell you the right or wrong way to approach the topic of divorce, and you can’t control your partner’s behavior or response. So don’t blame yourself if she starts being difficult despite your best efforts. If you’re unsure or afraid of your spouse’s reaction to the news, consult with a divorce attorney before you make a move.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny have been providing legal help with complicated divorces and other family law issues for decades, and we’re here to support you when you need it most. To speak to an experienced attorney about your divorce situation, call us, or use our online contact form to arrange a private consultation in our Bellevue office today.