Wanting a divorce from your spouse doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. If anything, divorce is becoming more common. Even though 90% of couples marry before age 50, between 40 and 50% of couples end up divorced.

Approaching the idea of divorce isn’t easy. To ensure the process runs smoothly, it’s best to mention the idea in a responsible manner.

These tips will help both of you discuss the topic in a logical way. Here’s how to bring up divorce with your spouse.

How to Bring Up Divorce

It’s critical you follow these tips. These will affect the way your divorce unfolds. Remember these tips to ensure your divorce ends up being a peaceful one.

Be Honest

When mentioning divorce, the best course of action is to be honest. And don’t just simply say “I want a divorce.” Think about everything wrong in the marriage and all of your failed attempts at fixing your problems.

Try to not only think of recent situations. There are usually underlying problems that couples face for years. Get to the root of the problem. This will help your partner better understand why you want the divorce.

Don’t use divorce as a way to manipulate your partner. Think about this decision. Only have this talk if you know for sure you want a divorce.

But Don’t Discuss Too Many Details

This sounds contradictory, but you shouldn’t go into too much detail.

For example, if the two of you have been arguing over your home and finances, mention that as your reason for divorce. Don’t go into specifics such as why you have money problems or blaming your partner for anything.

If you go into too much detail, this could spawn an argument. Honesty without the unnecessary details will ensure that you both handle the decision in a fair manner.

Be Prepared

Don’t come up with what to say on the spot. Prepare a speech and know what you’re going to say.

You should also anticipate a response. You know your spouse better than a lot of people.

You can gauge how they will react and how they will respond. Create a dialogue in your head. The conversation may not go as you anticipate, but you’ll be prepared in case it does.

This also helps connect you to your spouse’s emotions. Even if divorce is the best option, there’s no denying it’s an extremely emotional process. Understand each other’s emotions helps you ease into the divorce.

Be Aware of When You Tell Them

You shouldn’t suggest divorce out of the blue. You should choose a good time and setting to have the talk.

When is a good time to talk? First, make sure there are no interruptions. It’s best if the both of you are alone to discuss your options.

Your home is a comfortable and private setting, as opposed to a restaurant or friend’s house. Make sure neither of you are busy with work or have other important occurrences in your life at the time of the talk.

Be Gentle But Also Be Firm

What tone should you use? Should you be gentle and endearing, or should you be firm and vigilant? You should use a combination of both.

Approaching the situation with too firm of a tone will come off as aggressive and angry, but coming off too gentle and sincere won’t convey your message.

Hold a compassionate tone but be firm enough to get your message across.

What If They Refuse to Cooperate?

While you hope everything runs smoothly, there’s a chance your spouse won’t want to comply with the divorce. What do you do? Do you force them into divorce or do you try and stick the marriage out longer?

This all depends on your situation. If your divorce is for a reason or a situation where you need out for your own sanity, such as domestic abuse, it’s best to get out and consult with an attorney.

Even if your reason for divorce isn’t a serious one, you shouldn’t be stuck in a marriage that makes you unhappy. The decision is up to you, but a lawyer can help you decide the best route to take.

In addition, you can also consult with a counselor or a mediator to discuss other options.

Know When to Get Help

As mentioned previously, divorce is an emotional time. Maybe the two of you are dealing with the hurt and pain so intensely, you can’t handle the responsibilities of a divorce.

Or, worst case scenario, your spouse doesn’t agree with your decision to get divorced.

You should always know when to seek professional help.

A therapist or a mediator will help both parties handle your divorce in a peaceful manner. A lawyer will give you great advice and can help support you with the scarier aspects of divorce (such as alimony).

Seek Professional Help When Discussing Arrangements

It’s normal to plan certain arrangements such as custody, alimony, and property with your spouse.

But don’t sign anything over until you both seek professional guidance. A professional will work with you to ensure you both agree on all of the terms and will create a plan that will benefit you both.

Unfortunately, There’s No Simple Method

While these tips help, understand there’s no simple way to ask for a divorce. When you approach your spouse, be very careful with your words and your actions. While it may be hard, try and control your emotions.

Using these tips will improve your chances that the divorce process will be peaceful.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

No one truly knows how to bring up divorce. But the best thing you can do is have a lawyer who can guide you through the legalities of divorce. A lawyer will ensure your divorce is fair and all legal responsibilities are handled the best way.

If you’re based in Washington state, take a look at our divorce services.