It’s one of the most troubling questions: “How do you tell your spouse you want a divorce?” Breaking the news to your spouse that you want a divorce is a delicate matter. How you handle it can impact how amicable and civil the actual divorce process goes. When it comes time to break this difficult news, doing so in a calm and rational manner is the best option for several reasons. Below are some tips for how to tell your spouse you want a divorce.

Choose a Calm Setting without Interruptions<

Discussing divorce for the first time with your spouse should be done in a calm and serious manner. In some cases your spouse will be just as dissatisfied with the marriage as you are and will be eager to get the divorce started, or may be accepting of your decision. However, if your spouse is in denial about your marital problems or he or she blames you for the failure of your marriage, the question of divorce could cause conflict.

Choose a quiet place such as the dining room table where there are no distractions like the TV or computer. Put away your phones and make sure children are occupied elsewhere under the supervision of a family member or babysitter.

If you are afraid to tell your spouse because you fear physical harm, you may choose to discuss the divorce with a neutral third party present, such as a therapist, marriage counselor, or mediator. You could also choose to tell him or her in a public setting where there are other people around and there is a lower chance that he or she will become expressively angry.

Choose Your Words Carefully and Prepare for a Discussion

The goal of discussing divorce is to come to an amicable resolution to the termination of your marriage. You want to do this with as little conflict as possible to help the healing process as you start your new life. It is important to have a thorough and fair discussion where both of you have an opportunity to calmly air your grievances and discuss the issue.

Since you are initiating the discussion, begin the conversation with an explanation of how you have come to the conclusion that you want a divorce. Briefly point out the troubles in the marriage and any attempts to fix things. Make this an informative discussion, not one full of accusations.

After you have told your spouse that you are considering divorce, allow him or her to respond to your comments. The first talk about divorce should not be one-sided, as it could put your spouse on the defensive and make him or her feel like he or she is being attacked. Easing your spouse into the divorce talk can help make future discussions less threatening.

The first discussion about divorce should be thorough but short. Try not to drag it out too long, so limit the topics to just the basics. There will be plenty of other discussions to be had about finances, child custody, and property division.

Once the Dialogue Begins, Talk to a Dallas Family Law Attorney

How do you tell your spouse you want a divorce?” is a common concern. Once you have had the discussion, the divorce process will begin in earnest. You can consult an attorney prior to breaking the news if you’d like, but once you decide to get divorced, make sure you have legal representation. (Also see our tips for talking to your children about divorce.)

Dallas family law attorney Julie Johnson is a mediator and divorce lawyer. Schedule a no-obligation consultation today and learn about your options for mediation, collaborative divorce, and custody rights. Contact The Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC at 214-265-7630.