Breaking the News: Tips on Communicating that You Want a Divorce

Pleasanton CA divorce attorneyComing to the decision that you need or want a divorce is a difficult process. So is breaking the news to the ex and when appropriate, to family and friends. With your soon-to-be-ex spouse, you may not always be able to predict how he/she will react. They might deny it at first, get angry, potentially retaliate, and more. 

There’s no simple or easy way to tell a spouse that you want to terminate a marriage. There’s lots of factors that go into when and how you should communicate this, and there truly is no one-size-fits-all answer. With that said, here are some pointers to consider when you’re looking to break the news to the ex.  

Be Certain and Confident in Your Actions

Whatever you do, don’t be wishy-washy and half-hearted in what you want. Be sure this is truly the best path for you and once you’re ready to break the news, remain firm and consistent. This is much easier said than done due to the emotionally-charged nature of divorce, and might find yourself wavering. This is unfair to both parties, particularly when you know that the relationship is over and reconciling isn’t a viable option.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Think about what you want to say and how you want to say it before you approach the discussion. You may be tempted to roll into an off-the-cuff discussion, but you are both better off when you take the time to prepare. Your spouse deserves to have clarity on the issue, and there is a chance that things could derail if either of you becomes overwhelmed with emotions.

Don’t Get into the Blaming Game

As you discuss the issues with your spouse, it can be hard to avoid finger-pointing, offering criticism that is hurtful, and other actions that might be perceived as hostilities. Try to keep the conversation factual and neutral, even if your spouse is trying to turn things combative. If you play into this game, you run the risk of a messier and more complicated divorce.

Choose an Appropriate Time or Moment

There might not really be a perfect or “good” time to tell someone that you want a divorce, but some situations can prove to be a better fit than others. For one, try to ensure that you’ll both have privacy as well as plenty of distraction-free time to discuss the matter. The safer and more relaxed the space is, the smoother things are likely to go. Don’t try to squeeze in the conversation at an inopportune time such as right before a big work meeting, in between doing various time-sensitive chores, and more. 

Talk to a Family Law Attorney 

Finally, one of the biggest pieces of advice we can offer is ensure that you consult with an unbiased, qualified legal professional. Take the time to consult with an experienced attorney who can discuss the specifics of your case a length.

At the Law Offices of James P. White, we’re here to guide our clients through every step of the divorce process in CA, whether you’re still in the early planning stages, nearing the resolution of your divorce agreement, or any other step in between. Call us today at 925-271-0999 to learn more about how we can help.