If You are ready to take the next step and move on with your life without your spouse, one of the challenges ahead is how to tell your spouse you want a divorce. Having “the I want a divorce conversation” can be awkward.
For many people, it is not an easy conversation, but it is an important step in your journey ahead. Some people choose to break the news before and others after they have talked to a Houston divorce lawyer. Many people are unsure of:
- what they say or
- how they should say it
I have represented people who were the ones who had to break the news and others who felt like the divorce bomb came out of nowhere. People told me “things had been bad for a while but over Christmas he seemed like a changed person I really thought things were turning around then…”
In either scenario, there is often pain. Is there a best way to tell your spouse that you want a divorce?
5 Tips for Telling Your Spouse That You Want a Divorce
- Have a Conversation
- There is a time for everything
- Keep your Children out of It
- Choose your words & Avoid Fighting
- Consider including your Spouse in Decisions
Have a Conversation
As a Houston divorce lawyer, I have worked with clients who have felt like the divorce came out of nowhere. No one looks forward to having an awkward conversation that could result in an argument or cause pain.
However, sometimes difficult conversations are necessary. There are exceptions if you believe that telling your spouse could result in danger to yourself or your children. In such a case, you and your attorney can work out how to let your spouse know.
Generally, it is a bad idea in most cases to handle this by:
- Walking out the door and never going back
- Breaking the news by getting your spouse served
- Sending a Text message, email, or letter
That does not mean you do not prepare for the divorce and protect yourself prior to having the conversation. “You can read more on divorce preparation in our blog article 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas.”
You may think you are doing your spouse a favor by distancing yourself from the relationship. However, from the conversations I have had most of my clients did not see it that way. If you have made your decision that you want a divorce, tell your spouse.
There is a time for everything
Do not rush telling your spouse you want a divorce. It is a good idea to set aside some to break the news. DO NOT:
- Tell your spouse in front of the children
- When you are rushing out the door to work
- When there is a bunch of people around
Divorce may have been on your mind for months or years. This may be a surprise to your spouse and they will need time react and process your news. If the conversation is shortened because your spouse leaves that is fine. You just need to be ready to give your spouse a conversation if that’s what is needed.
Keep your Children Out of It
You should avoid having the divorce conversation around your children. Your children may be an important reason for the divorce. This however, does not mean you need to make them a part of the conversation.
This true even if your kids are adults. They might no longer technically be children that does not mean you stop being a parent. You do not have to bring them into the awkwardness of your divorce conversation or make them feel like they must choose sides.
Choose your Words & Avoid Fighting
People have told me they are not sure what they should say to their spouse to let them know. For some it has helped:
- To have talking points
- Some people Try to get straight others by leading up the point by saying how you have noticed that we’ve been drifting apart.
- You may want to practice your conversation in advance
There is a good chance you will not have a perfect breakup which you sometimes see in the movies. Even if you think your spouse will take it well there is no guarantee.
You should consider your spouse’s point of view with what you are about to say. How, would you feel or want to be told. Even though you are telling your spouse you want a divorce does not mean the conversation must turn into a fight.
Your spouse may want to discuss the situation, or argue about your conclusion and want to reconsider. You should:
- Remain calm, even if your spouse wants to fight
- Do not blame your spouse
- Do not say purposely hurtful things to your spouse
- Do not try and push your spouse’s buttons
- Take responsibility
- Do not bring up or flaunt any new relationships you have
- Be honest do not lead your spouse on that there is hope if there is no hope
- Be prepared to call a time out if you need one
Let your spouse know you plan to be fair during the divorce process. This conversation may set the tone for the entire divorce. If you say things that scare or upset your spouse you should not be surprised if the divorce escalates and becomes messy.
Consider including your Spouse in Decisions
It may not be possible to include your spouse in any of the decisions regarding the divorce. However, in the cases I have handled where it has gone the most smoothly the lines of communication remained open and the spouses could talk about how they were going to:
- Pay bills
- divide property
- divide debts
- Handle visitation
- Make decisions regarding the child
Once you’ve told your spouse you want a divorce, call your Houston divorce lawyer so they can proceed with the divorce process. Your lawyer can also help you determine the if you should move out of your marital home, work out child custody arrangements, and discuss any questions you have regarding property division.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
If you want to know more about how to prepare, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “13 Dirty Tricks to Watch Out For in Your Texas Divorce, and How to Counter Them" Today!”
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