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Questions to answer before asking your spouse for a divorce

You’ve made up your mind that you’re going to ask your spouse for a divorce. Before you sit down to have this important conversation, it’s critical that you know the approach that you want to take.

Here are some questions you should answer before asking for a divorce:

  • How will your spouse react? There’s no way of knowing the exact answer, but you should have a basic understanding of what they’ll do. For example, if you have concerns that your spouse could become violent, you should take steps to protect yourself, such as asking for a divorce over the phone or in a public place.
  • What will you say? This is all about preparing in advance. You can’t plan the entire conversation, but you can come up with talking points and rebuttals in advance. Doing this allows you to keep the conversation on track.
  • What can you do to protect your children? In addition to the steps you can personally take, talk to your spouse about what you can do together to keep your children as safe as possible. Even if you’re not getting along with your spouse, you should be able to agree on the importance of putting your children first.
  • What approach will you take if your spouse wants to talk about the details of your divorce? For example, they may immediately begin to ask about child custody, property division and spousal support. All of these things are important, but now’s not the time to talk about them. You need to address these details in the divorce process. If you begin to talk about them now, when tension is high, it’s likely to end up in an argument.

Asking your spouse for a divorce is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. However, if you know that it’s the only way to improve your life in the future, you shouldn’t shy away from sitting down and explaining your true feelings.

Once you put this conversation behind you, it’s easier to focus your full attention on the divorce, your legal rights and rebuilding your life.