You’ve made the decision to get a divorce but don’t know how to tell your spouse? As it can be a very painful procedure, you must first understand how divorce works. Even under the greatest of conditions, tempers can flare, and each decision might appear to be more difficult than the last.

While it’s only natural to respond emotionally throughout particular stages of a divorce, it’s vital to realize your actions during the process can have long-term consequences for your family, both emotional and financial. But how to ask for a divorce, exactly? The following advice is designed to help individuals navigate the process as painlessly as possible. 

How To Peacefully Ask for a Divorce 

Divorce, or the dissolution of marriage, can be a draining, traumatic, and time-consuming process. Once you’ve decided to divorce, you must carefully consider how and when you will inform your spouse. 

Suppose you have a partner who may be surprised by your divorce request or an abusive spouse. In that case, it’s vital to examine their personality traits and behavioral history as you devise a strategy. Whether you’re ending things with your spouse on good or bad terms, some strategies can help make the divorce process as peaceful as possible.

Be Prepared

Knowing where your spouse stands emotionally might make a big difference in how you approach the subject of divorce and help you predict how your spouse will react once you bring it up. 

Consider seeing a couple’s therapist to help you work through your feelings and prepare for the conversation you’re about to have. They can assist you in acting out the divorce request conversation and even offer advice on how to say some difficult things.

Choose the Right Time for a Conversation About Divorce

There is no ideal time to discuss a divorce, although there are things that can help reduce the intensity of this conversation. Generally, you should:

  • Choose a time when both of you have free schedules and are not distracted by work or forthcoming plans.
  • Have the conversation about divorce when your children are not around so that the talk can go without interruption.
  • Choose a time when both of you are comfortable and tranquil.

Be Understanding, but Firm

You’re confident in your decision as you’ve given it a lot of thought. Most likely, your partner has not. If your choice to get divorce surprises your partner, it could take some time for the reality to sink in. Actively listen to them, try to understand their point of view, and be sympathetic.

How you inform your spouse that you want a divorce can greatly influence how the divorce proceeds. If you bring up divorce when agitated or angry, your spouse may not take your request as seriously as if you bring it up calmly, thoughtfully, and respectfully.

Maintain Your Calm for the Sake of Your Children

In case you and your partner have children, dedicate special attention to them during this time. More often than not, children get scarred for life due to witnessing parental conflict. To avoid this, you should show them that you support each other as parenting partners so that they know you’ll look after rather than fight over them. 

You should provide the children with a strong head start in navigating what may appear to be an unpredictable future. Show them that you and your partner can work together to amicably dissolve your marriage.

Find a Divorce Attorney Who Can Assist You

Attorneys can help you achieve a peaceful resolution to your marriage. Instead of turning the divorce procedure into a contest, they concentrate on reaching a fair conclusion so that all parties can move forward as swiftly and cheaply as possible. When children are involved, family law attorneys can be beneficial.

Many people are unaware they can seek help from a divorce lawyer before even discussing it with their spouse. An expert attorney can advise you on approaching the conversation to avoid making mistakes that could put you in an even worse predicament.

I Asked for a Divorce, Now What?

Before deciding on the type of divorce you want, look into available solutions. Essentially, your relationship with your ex-spouse, your assets, and your family’s needs will determine the best option for you. To sum everything up:

  • Consider your options - You may be qualified for an alternative such as legal separation, annulment of marriage, or summary dissolution, depending on your circumstances.
  • Conduct your own research - Important information about divorce includes where to file for divorce and what divorce documents you need, details on child custody and child support, alimony or spousal support, divorce trials, and divorce settlements.
  • Be reasonable and try to reach an agreement with your soon-to-be-ex - In divorce disputes, good compromise leads to faster and easier results, although this is not always attainable.
  • If you have children together, support them throughout this process - Don’t make them choose sides, as it’s even harder on them than it is on you. While you work out permanent custody arrangements, let your ex know when and where you will spend time with your children.
  • Fully disclose all of your property and assets - A divorce judgment can be overturned by a judge based on financial fraud, and going back to court is probably not what you want.

Peaceful Divorce Options Exist

Divorces frequently include lawyers, courts, and a significant amount of time and money. This is true for divorcing couples who can’t agree on what to do and need the help of attorneys and courts to settle their differences. On the other side, some couples do not have substantial conflicts and can proceed with an uncontested divorce.

Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative law divorce is a process in which parties settle their divorce through mediation and negotiations. The parties and their attorneys all agree not to litigate, which is the distinguishing feature of collaborative divorce. 

If one of the parties violates the agreement of no litigation, all attorneys are still obligated to comply with it, so the parties who do sue must obtain new counsel.

No-Fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce is when the spouse applying for divorce does not have to prove any fault on the other spouse’s side. All states recognize no-fault divorce as it’s the most prevalent type of divorce.

Parties seeking a no-fault divorce usually state they have irreconcilable differences. The spouse who receives the divorce petition cannot oppose the other party’s no-fault divorce petition. The court may see that objection as an irreconcilable difference.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses are asking for a divorce and can reach an agreement on all problems on their own or with the assistance of a mediator. The court system is usually not required. These divorces are typically more amicable and simpler.

Some states have laws governing when an uncontested divorce is permitted. Still, in general, you and your spouse cannot have disputes over child custody or alimony, any financial disagreements, or disagreements about divorce terms.

What You Shouldn’t Do During the Divorce Process

After beginning conversations about divorce, there are several guidelines you should follow to avoid making the divorce process more difficult.

  • Don’t try to do it alone - Divorce is complicated. An attorney can guide you through the process and help you protect your interests.
  • Maintain your cool - No matter how angry you are, don’t exacerbate the situation by lashing out at your children or ex.
  • Don’t make any major arrangements until your divorce is final - Your new life decisions, such as relocating, may conflict with the finalization of your divorce.
  • Don’t break any temporary custody or visitation orders - It can make obtaining your children’s custody or visitation rights more difficult.

Following these recommendations on how to approach a divorce should make the process less stressful for you and those close to you. 

Bottom Line

Every divorce is unique, just like every partnership. Deciding to divorce is painful, but there are methods to ease your spouse into it while still taking care of yourself. Preparing for the talk and finding useful tools to support you afterward will help lessen some of the tension this process can cause.

Above all, keep in mind that you have some say in how your divorce proceeds, as there is no best way to divorce that could be applied to everyone. You can proceed calmly, which will eventually lead to a peaceful resolution.