Coates & Frey, Attorneys at Law, LLLC
Phone: (808) 524-4854

Broaching the topic of divorce with your spouse

Are you trying to bring up the topic of divorce with your spouse?

It might be easier to announce your intentions if you're always fighting with your spouse. However, a lot of couples heading for divorce don't actually fight. Instead, they gradually stop communicating -- effectively freezing each other out. By the time you decide you want a divorce, it may seem difficult to start any kind of meaningful conversation with your spouse -- let alone discuss something that will affect your entire future.

If this is your situation, here are some things to consider:

1. Timing really is important

How you begin the process of your divorce could shape the way your divorce unfolds. If your spouse thinks that your timing was particularly thoughtless -- or even cruel -- you may be firing the first shot in a long war.

The odds are good that your spouse is as unhappy as you are, but you need to find a time to discuss the situation when:

  • There is no special event planned (like a child's wedding or a family reunion)
  • The children are not home
  • It isn't the middle of a hectic work week
  • You can turn off the phones

In other words, think carefully about the timing of your announcement and reflect for a moment on how you'd react if you were on the receiving end of the message.

2. Less is more

Even if your spouse is aware this is coming or equally unhappy, his or her initial reaction may be to argue about your reasoning or try to convince you that you are wrong.

The less you try to justify your decision, the better. In the end, you don't need to explain why you feel the way that you do -- and it may be better to simply say, "I've changed."

3. Ask for civility

If you ask your spouse to work with you toward a peaceful ending of your marriage -- and pledge to do the same -- you're much more likely to get it.

Remember, your spouse may be scared. Offer your reassurances that you will work with your spouse to fairly resolve any financial issues, custody issues and property issues that lie ahead.

Handled well, this first conversation could evolve into the first meaningful co-operative effort between you and your spouse in years.

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