Written by Canterbury Law Group

How to Ask For A Divorce

How To Ask For A Divorce

Asking for a divorce may be one of the hardest things you ever have to do, even more so if you intend on doing so in a manner that is both respectful and peaceful. But when the relationship has broken down and can no longer work, despite the efforts of all involved, it may become inevitable. True, there is no right way to go about doing this. But read on to learn how you can make this tough situation a little easier to navigate.


Understanding the emotional state of your spouse can be very helpful. Are they blissfully unaware or maybe they feel the same way you do? Has the topic ever been raised before now? It is wise to try and estimate the most likely responses from your spouse. In these situations, a counselor or therapist who deals with couples may be helpful. They can address your emotional state and even offer words and methods to initiate the conversation. Certainly try counseling before you pull the rip cord.


Spend time thinking of the location as well as the time where this should happen as well as ensuring any children you may have are not present, so the discussion is not disturbed. Also think of their circumstances, for example if they are dealing with job and/or career stresses or are grieving the recent loss of a family member or friend, it may be best to hold off until those issues are more settled. To not do so risks their reaction being based off other external events rather than the issue at hand.


There is no question a child or children may experience trauma when they see conflicting situations with their parents. A great way to get them prepared is to let them know from the outset you both can work to terminate the marriage as peacefully as possible. Showing parenting support and assuring the child or children they will not become pawns in a fight can be of great benefit.


If you become frustrated and angry at your spouse during the divorce discussion it is not very likely to go well. Bringing up the topic in a manner that is thoughtful with a willingness to listen is a big key into smoothing out this process. Often your spouse may not have spent much time considering divorce whereas you have spent a great deal of time before revealing your decision. So, you may have to make an allowance of time for them to comprehend what you have said to them. They may be in state of shock or denial, and may have trouble cognitively understanding what is happening in that precise moment.


It may well be your partner wants prolonged discussions or to investigate ways to salvage the relationship. You do not have to be in accordance with them but do listen to what they say. Being heard is very important in these circumstances.  It sets the right tone for the upcoming divorce which can save you both time, money and heartache.


It is important to realize your partner may not want to get a divorce. This may come at them like a bolt from the blue as they have not had to time to consider the options regarding a divorce or put any thought process into the decision at all. Compassionate empathy is the key here. If they ask for a week or two before responding, give it to them.  You two have come this far, another few weeks will not matter in the end.


It is important to use statements containing “I” as opposed to “you”. Take responsibility for how you feel and think, instead of reflecting it on to the other person. There are bound to be many and varied emotions through this whole process but even the suggestion of placing blame is going to be very unproductive at this stage. Most states are no fault jurisdictions anyway.  If you feel you need to force an issue or a subject, it is time to back down and raise the concern at a later time.


It may be a good idea to utilize the services of a counselor if you feel you need to come up with the bets possible way of asking for a divorce.  Each spouse should certainly consult with a seasoned divorce attorney ideally before divorce communications formally begin with their spouse.

Source: QuinlanHeidi, Heidi, and Heidi. “How to Ask for a Divorce Peacefully.” Best Legal Choices, 19 Dec. 2019, bestlegalchoices.com/how-to-ask-for-a-divorce-peacefully/.

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*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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