The decision to get a divorce is not one that is made overnight. Typically, an adult spends several months, if not years, considering whether or not a divorce is his or her best option. Once a person has realized that divorce is the best choice, he or she must determine how to broach the subject with a spouse. Even if you believe that your spouse has been expecting you to ask for a divorce, it is best to expect some sort of confrontation. An adult who is angry, jealous, or hurt can react in unexpected ways and it is best to brainstorm ways to request a divorce without starting an argument.
Wait for an Appropriate Time
Theoretically there is no “good” time to tell your spouse that you no longer wish to be legally married. However, there are certain times to initiate the conversation that are far worse than others. Try to avoid any major holidays, birthdays, or events that are important such as business presentations or work-related trips. If something unexpected occurs such as the death of a family member be prepared to delay your announcement a bit more. Once you are able to speak with them make sure your children are occupied at school or at the home of a friend. Being able to have a conversation that is uninterrupted and not clouded by other emergencies or events can make having a hard conversation slightly less difficult.
Do Not Get Defensive
Once you have announced that you want to get divorced there is a chance that your husband or wife will lash out at you. It is natural for a person who feels hurt and afraid to want to say something equally hurtful in retaliation. No matter what accusations are made or harsh words are used, it is best to stay quiet. While you might be tempted to defend yourself, it is very unlikely that your spouse will truly listen to anything else you tell him or her at that point. Instead of pacifying or calming your spouse, it is more likely that your words will simply encourage him or her to keep talking.
Avoid Making Promises
After the initial shock and anger have worn off, your spouse may begin asking questions about practical issues such as custody, property division, and living arrangements during the divorce. It is best to avoid making promises or discussing anything in detail. Both you and your spouse should not enter any type of negotiations without legal advice. What could seem like an innocent and adult discussion for one spouse might be viewed as a binding verbal agreement to the other. Making promises or even discussing options could lead to an argument if a spouse who is already upset or shocked is offered something that he or she feels is unreasonable.
Get Legal Help
Once you have made your desire to get divorced clear, it is time to take the next legal step. A divorce attorney is able to help you initiate your divorce and can assist you with other aspects of family law such as property division. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are prepared to guide you throughout the entire divorce process, answering any questions that you may have. With four offices located throughout metro Atlanta our team is dedicated to providing you with the representation you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule a discreet consultation.