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Asking your spouse for a divorce: Creating a plan

It’s time for you to tell your spouse that you want to end your marriage. You started considering divorce a year ago. You mulled it over. You thought it through. You went to counseling. Nothing helped, and now you know it is time.

You’re not asking your spouse for a divorce, per se. You are telling your spouse that you plan to file. But it’s still a delicate conversation. You want it to go as well as possible.

One key is to create a plan first. Do not bring up divorce on a whim. Do not wait until the next argument and then just yell in frustration that you want to end the marriage. This is especially true if you have children. Instead, take the time to rationally talk it over.

Creating a script

One tactic is to create a script of exactly what you want to say. This way, you know that you do not overlook anything. You get to take your time and go over every word. Remember, this conversation is going to be emotional and stressful. You may forget some key points. You do not want to sit around afterward, wishing you would have said things differently. A script ensures that you will not.

When she asked for a divorce, one woman even got the script from her therapist. This outside perspective helped her with something they both knew she needed to do. Even though someone else wrote the words, that person was close enough to the situation to break things down accurately.

Remember, the script does not have to be the whole conversation. It is just your main starting point. After you read it, you need to take the time to listen to your spouse and respond. But the script helps get that ball rolling and gives you a way to cover all of the important key points right at the beginning.

Writing a letter

Another option is to write a letter. Like a script, this gives you a chance to think through what you want to say before you say it. When you give that letter to your spouse, you know it is perfect.

This also allows you to get the conversation started in a non-confrontational manner without actually having to say anything. Some people struggle to get the words out, even when they know what they want. A letter can help you take that first step, even though you will have many conversations afterward.

Your rights

While these tips can help you get started, you still have a lot of ground to cover. Make sure you fully understand all of your legal rights and the main steps you and your spouse have to take.