Once you have made the decision that you want to get a divorce, the next step is to broach the topic with your husband or wife. Before doing so assure you have thought it through thoroughly and are completely committed to ending the marriage. Threatening your spouse with divorce out of anger or in an attempt to get their attention only serves to take the power away from the words when you actually mean them.
If struggling with where to start, consider working with a counselor to draft a divorce conversation script. A therapist can help you utilize good communication skills, such as presenting your case through “I” statements rather than pointing the finger at your spouse. Taking a very thoughtful and compassionate approach when deciding what to say in the beginning will help set the stage for a more peaceful divorce.
Choosing the Right Time and Place
Divorce conversation starters are never easy, but there are a few things to consider that can help shape the discussion. Think about where your spouse is emotionally with regards to their feelings about the marriage. Are the two of you on the same page or will they be blindsided? The answer to this question will help guide you to the best approach.
Whether or not you suspect your spouse will be taken by surprise, allow plenty of time for them to ask questions and express their feelings. Pick an appropriate place, somewhere comfortable and private, where you both feel free to express emotions. Ensure that cell phones are off, children are not present, and you are not expecting any other interruptions.
Most importantly, stick to talking about what you planned to discuss, the dissolution of your marriage. It’s easy to get side-tracked regarding who’s to blame or begin rehashing the past. If your spouse reverts to these tactics, bring the conversation back around to what you planned. Be gentle but firm. Choosing to have a counselor present this time can help keep things civil and productive as well.
Being Prepared for the Next Steps
What happens after the divorce conversation? When do you contact an attorney? The least contentious way to proceed is to work with a divorce mediator who can draft an amicable agreement that satisfies both parties. Keeping the proceedings out of court saves time, money and emotional upheaval. Because sometimes negotiations break down, however, it’s best to select a family law firm that offers both mediation and family law litigation.
The Buncher Family Law is committed to helping our clients through this difficult stage of life in whatever ways they need. Our family lawyers in Irvine come with more than legal expertise. We approach each case with the wisdom and understanding it takes to help folks through a divorce, whether through mediation or in family court.