Movies and soap operas to the contrary, divorce doesn’t have to be explosive or messy. Here’s who decides how easy a divorce can be: the two people in the marriage. That’s you! Yes, your spouse will have a lot to say about how smooth or rough your divorce will be, but you can set the tone for this process from the outset by how you choose to break the news to your spouse that you want a divorce.
Pick the right time.
Once the words leave your mouth, they cannot be taken back, so be sure you break this delicate news at a time when your spouse is emotionally capable of receiving it. You don’t want to pick a moment when your spouse is already emotional or stressed; since you know them well, you should be able to judge when the timing is right to broach the subject.
Pick the right place.
You want to break your news in a quiet, private space without distractions. While you may be tempted to do it in a crowded restaurant to try to head off an emotional outburst, this is a mistake. If you have children, be sure they are not around to overhear you. If you are in couples therapy, your therapist’s office may be a good place for this conversation.
Spare the details.
The news that you want a divorce will likely be emotionally overwhelming for your spouse, so it’s not the time to add more things for them to process, like the details of custody, support, property division, etc. Remember that while you may have had a long time to process this, they have not. Just the news that you want out of the marriage is enough for them to digest right now.
Choose your words carefully.
The words you use to break the news will stick with both of you forever, so choose them wisely. Don’t use words that place blame on your spouse; instead, talk about your feelings honestly and why you believe divorce is the right decision. Start with acknowledging that neither one of you has been happy in the marriage; if your spouse can agree, it will make the conversation easier. It’s also important not to be ambiguous, since that may lead your spouse to believe your marriage can be saved. If it can’t, you don’t want to leave the wrong impression.
Try a team approach.
Try to talk to your spouse about ways you can work together to make the divorce process as easy as possible. This is especially important if you have children. Focusing on your common goals will help you find common ground.
By handling cases with the dignity and respect they deserve, we have helped many families in New Jersey civilly resolve their divorce, rebuild a satisfying life, and confidently step into the next chapter of their lives. Contact us today for your free consultation.