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Taking the first step toward divorce - telling a spouse

Facing an impending divorce is unquestionably an extremely emotional and difficult time. Dealing with the realization that a marriage is about to end is hard to process for one half of the couple, but approaching a partner and informing them of the desire to divorce is another. There are, however, certain things to keep in mind when taking that first step toward divorce that can help ease the hardship of the notification.

While a divorce is a tumultuous period, it is important to take a partner's emotions into consideration. You may have been experiencing a long period of strife in the relationship, but a partner may still not be on the same wavelength. It is crucial to not completely blindside a partner when announcing the desire for a divorce. Doing so will begin the process with one party in deep grief and shock while the other has had a considerable amount of time to process those early feelings.

Additionally, timing is important. Telling a partner about the divorce before a long work week can lead to extreme stress and leave a couple with little time to seriously discuss and attempt to move through the situation. Instead, telling a partner before a weekend will allow the couple to have plenty of time to talk to each other, hopefully paving the way for a more amicable separation.

Unfortunately, it can be impossible to accurately judge how a partner will take the news of an impending divorce. Because of this, telling them in front of a neutral third party can help ensure cooler heads prevail, even with the heartbreak of the news. In a similar vein, never express the desire for a divorce unless it is done in complete seriousness. Divorce should not be a threat or an empty insult.

Of course, even with all of these tips in mind, beginning the process of divorce can still be very difficult and emotionally trying. Consulting an experienced attorney can help alleviate some of the stress and lingering questions surrounding such a large life change.

Source: Huffington Post, "How To Tell Your Spouse That You Want A Divorce," Susan Pease Gadoua, August 4, 2014

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