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How to Talk to Your Partner About Getting a Divorce

Peter  |  Dec 25

How to Talk to Your Partner About Getting a Divorce

Most people assume that when a couple starts talking about a divorce, they are both ready for it. While this may be a case, often one of the sides is not prepared or does not want marriage to end. Saying words like "I want a divorce" may seem simple, but there are things to keep in mind before you have that conversation.

Think it through

You should state no life-changing decision out-loud because you feel angry or frustrated. You can satisfy the need to change or to gain power in a relationship in a different way. After all, you owe it to yourself and your marriage to think it all in detail, and this decision is not something you should speed up. Ask yourself – are you ready to change your lifestyle or finances? If you have children together, can you deal with their anger or sadness? Can you leave the marriage knowing that the future holds no certainty and is entirely unknown? Are you willing to let your spouse go, both emotionally and physically? If at least one answer is "no," then maybe you are not ready for divorce. 

Pick the right time and place

The infamous four words – "I want a divorce" – will probably sound harsh no matter when or where you say them. Still, picking the most convenient time and place can help with accepting it. Pick the moment when you both have free time to talk about it – the beginning or middle of the weekend is the best choice. The place should be quiet and private. Avoid crowded places, be it either Caffe or kids having fun in the room with you. 

If you are seeing a marriage counselor together, the counselor's office may be the right place as well. This way, the talk can be facilitated by a third party and prevented from becoming too emotional or destructive.

Be safe

Provided that your spouse has a history of anger or violence, it is of utmost priority to stay safe. If you live in Australia, contact family lawyers to counsel you about what to keep in mind. Choose a public location where you can talk in private and leave quickly or ask for help if things go south. Stay calm but firm in your statement. Record the conversation if you are advised to do it, and you expect a strong reaction. Keep in mind that experts in family law in Sydney can consider the documented history of verbal or physical abuse when splitting the assets. How your spouse will react is anybody's guess, but you hope to resolve the situation peacefully with all these precautions taken.

Pick the right words

Do not start your conversation by using accusing language. Sentences that begin with "You never," "You didn't," or "You should," even though you may be right, can only make the whole situation worse. Also, it is essential to be clear about your intentions. "I'm having second thoughts about our marriage" can sound like there is hope that the relationship can be saved and may send wrong signals to your partner. Of course, If you are past that point, be kind and direct to avoid giving false hope. It is imperative to be clear if you have kids and talk about co-parenting in two households. Parting respectfully as much as possible will help everybody during the transition.

Think it out together

Talking about divorce can be challenging, but it does not have to end like that. Instead of turning your partner into a competitor, try talking about all the adjustments that need to be done. Who is staying and who is leaving home? What about the kids? How to split assets fair and square? The main goal is to work shoulder-to-shoulder to make the whole ordeal as smooth as possible. If you have children together, their best interests should be at the top of your priorities. Cooperation is the key to make it all happen.

This is only the beginning

The conversation will probably leave both of you emotionally and physically exhausted. Remember – this is just a start. Be sure to look for support from friends and family, or even from professionals as well. As with any breakup, there will be ups and downs and a lot of pain that cannot heal quickly. Divorce impacts the lives of many, and it can be hard to deal with the emotions of others (especially kids) as well as your own. If you initiate the divorce, you will be held responsible, and it is expected of you to go through it until the marriage ends.


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