How to ask for a divorce

Asking for a divorce is one of the hardest things that people will ever do. If your spouse is not expecting it, or you have not previously discussed divorce, then there are ways that you can ask that will make the process smoother. It is important both for you and any children that you have that the divorce is as conflict free as possible in the circumstances. Here are some approaches that you can take to help you broach the subject with your spouse.

Discuss things early

Tell your spouse how you are feeling as early as possible. Let them know that you are unhappy, rather than going straight in with the divorce papers. Discuss it a few times and tell them that you are thinking of a divorce. This will help to prepare them emotionally and make them feel part of the decision process. Delivering the news out of the blue is shocking and can make it very difficult for the other person to process.

Give them time

If you have been thinking about divorce for a while, then allow your spouse some time to come to terms with it and to get their head around the implications. The chances are that you will have spent time envisaging the future after the divorce. Your spouse will have envisaged their future in the marriage. Giving your spouse time may be the best thing that you do, rather than insisting you start legal proceedings immediately.

Allow for discussion

Divorce gets lengthy and expensive when communication breaks down. If your spouse wants time to discuss things and to go to counselling or therapy, then you should agree to it. It may not be what you want to do, but it can help your spouse to get some closure and to know that they have had the opportunity to get their feelings heard.

Don’t play the blame game

Your spouse will want answers as to why the marriage has broken down. When you answer, don’t play the blame game. This will only cause more arguments. You should also avoid picking apart their personality. Instead, focus on neutral reasons and accept your own failings as well.

Keep your private life private

If you have separated and are feeling footloose and fancy free, keep your private life private. By all means, start dating if you want to, but keep it off social media, don’t tell mutual friends and still be respectful to your spouse and their feelings. If they feel like you are dating to antagonise them, then the divorce could get much messier than you intended.


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