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How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce [8 Tips]

Last Updated on November 28, 2022 by Benson Varghese

Telling your spouse you want a divorce is not easy. Delivering hurtful news never is. It’s important to approach the conversation with a clear head and an open heart, even if you feel scared, sad or angry.

Before having “the talk,” it’s important to prepare for what might happen afterward. Schedule a meeting with a divorce lawyer, who can advise you on your legal rights and next steps.

In this blog post, our family law attorneys offer some tips on how to tell your spouse you want a divorce without making an already difficult situation worse or triggering an all-out war.

1. Be Sure

No matter how long you’ve been thinking about divorce, it’s important to make sure it’s what you really want. This is not a decision to make lightly or in haste. Consider talking to a professional counselor or therapist who can help you sort through your feelings before breaking the news to your spouse.

Once you tell your spouse you want a divorce, you cannot take those words back. It will change the trajectory of your relationship forever. Divorce is a huge, life-altering decision that will impact you emotionally and financially so just make sure you are sure.

2. Choose a Time and Place Carefully

Choosing the time and place to have a difficult conversation is critical. Make sure there are no distractions or external pressures. This may require making arrangements in advance for childcare or taking time off work to have the conversation.

Pick a day and time when you both have the emotional energy and mental stamina to discuss your divorce and the logistics of separation. Ambushing your spouse when they come home from work or after a long or stressful day will make it more difficult for them to process the news. Avoid holidays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.

Above all, try to make sure the conversation takes place in a safe and private space where you can both feel comfortable expressing yourselves without fear of interruption or judgment.

3. Plan Out What To Say

Before you tell your spouse you want a divorce, it’s important to think through what you want to say and how to say it. It may help to write down what you want to say beforehand so that there is less room for misinterpretation.

When you tell your spouse you want a divorce, avoid pointing fingers or blaming them. Focus on how you feel and why this is the right decision. It’s important to be open, honest, and direct. Make sure that he or she understands that is your decision, and it is not reversible.

4. Be Prepared for Negative Reactions

No matter how carefully and clearly you deliver the message it will probably still come as a shock to your spouse. Be prepared for your partner to be hurt, angry, or overwhelmed. Even if everything goes according to plan, they may still feel blindsided.

Give them space and time to process the news without passing judgment or offering unsolicited advice. Let them know that you understand their feelings and will respect their privacy as they deal with the news of the end of the marriage.

5. Stay Calm

After you tell your spouse you want a divorce, there is a good chance that he or she may react with anger and want to argue or even threaten you. It’s important in these moments to remain calm and maintain a level head. Don’t get into a heated argument or let them provoke you.

When emotions start running high, take a break if needed before continuing the conversation. If it becomes too much, agree to talk about it later when both of you have had some time to cool down.

6. Stand Your Ground

After you tell your spouse you want a divorce, you may feel guilty. Your spouse may beg you not to leave or even try and be affectionate. It’s important to stay firm and stand your ground. Don’t agree to a trial separation and don’t send mixed signals.

Remind yourself why you are making this decision and don’t be swayed by emotion or guilt. If needed, repeat the fact that it is a decision you have made and you will not change your mind.

7. Prepare for Temporary Accommodations

It’s highly likely you and your spouse may have an emotional reaction to the news, so it’s best to have a plan in place for overnight (or longer) accommodations. It’s important to make sure that you (or your spouse) have a safe and comfortable place to stay, whether it is with family or friends or at a hotel. Make sure that you also have access to finances or any resources you may need during the transition.

8. Hire An Experienced Family Law Attorney

After breaking the news to your spouse, your next step is to make an appointment with an experienced family law attorney. Hopefully, you have already been researching and know what attorney and law firm you want to hire.

A divorce attorney will be able to advise you on the legal aspects of a divorce and help protect your rights and interests throughout the process. Your attorney can also ensure that assets are divided equitably, child custody issues are handled appropriately, and other important aspects of your divorce are resolved in a timely and amicable manner.

Breaking the news to your spouse that you want a divorce will be difficult, but it can be done in a sensitive and respectful way. By following these tips, you can ensure that the conversation is as peaceful and productive as possible. Seeking legal advice from an experienced family law attorney is also essential to ensure a fair and just resolution to divorce proceedings.

Call to Schedule a Consultation with Varghese Summersett Family Law Group

Divorce is never easy, but with the right team in your corner, you can be sure that you are getting the best legal advice and representation available. The experienced and compassionate attorneys at Varghese Summersett Family Law Group are dedicated to helping clients navigate the divorce process in the most efficient and stress-free way possible.

Contact us today at 817-900-3220 to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you through this difficult time. Our attorneys are here for you every step of the way.

Turner Thornton
Turner Thornton
Turner Thornton is a well-known family law attorney in Fort Worth who leads the Varghese Summersett Family Law Group. Turner has successfully guided hundreds of individuals and families through the most trying period of their lives as a skilled negotiator and savvy litigator. Turner Thornton concentrates his practice on family law, including divorce, child custody, contempt, and modification cases. He is experienced in handling estates with significant and unique assets that can be difficult to value. He finds amicable resolutions where possible to conserve his client's resources, but knows how to take the gloves off if the situation calls for it. He has had remarkable results in and outside of the courtroom based largely on his ability and desire to understand his clients' needs and guide them on the pathway to what success looks like for them.

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Michelle Avelar Paralegal

Michelle Avelar

Paralegal Michelle Avelar is an experienced paralegal at Varghese Summersett Family Law Group, where she assists attorneys in all aspects of litigation and case management.

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