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How can you tell your spouse that you want a divorce?

Once you have made the crucial decision that your marriage is over, you need to tell your spouse. If you both are not communicating very well, it can make this task even more difficult.

Leaving a note, or surprising them with divorce papers, is bad etiquette; instead, you should prepare for this conversation. While every situation is different and there is no perfect way to tell your spouse you want a divorce, below are some tips that can help make the conversation go smoother.

Be prepared

If you go into this conversation unprepared to explain your reasons for making this decision, it will only cause frustration and anger. Consider how your spouse will take the news. They may be just as fed up as you are, or maybe this news will surprise them.

Be understanding, but firm

It may be easier for you to enter the meeting focusing on your feelings, and not theirs. This will keep you from falling into a caregiver mode and help you maintain your focus on what you are trying to accomplish. You have loved this person and your instinct may be to protect them. You do not need to be harsh, mean or cruel, but if the moment becomes too emotional, it can be easy to retreat from what is causing the pain.

Be prepared for any reaction

Hearing that your spouse wants a divorce can be one of the hardest pieces of news to receive. Predicting how your spouse will react can be difficult, but it may help to role play the conversation in your mind beforehand.

Skip the details

You and your spouse have probably had many long and deep conversations in the past around many different subjects. However, this should not be one of those. This conversation is about preparing for divorce. It is not the time to talk about child custody, asset distribution or who will get the house.

Be prepared for this conversation. Once you have successfully had the divorce talk, you can move onto the next step of speaking with an attorney.

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