Telling your spouse that you want a divorce is not an easy conversation. Divorce brings up significant emotional, financial and legal issues, especially when children are involved.
Because the way you bring up the possibility of divorce can have long-term implications for your relationship with both your spouse and children, it is important to be prepared. When deciding how to discuss divorce with your spouse and children you need to plan a time and place to deliver the news.
Tell Your Spouse First
Make sure your children are not around when you tell your spouse that you want a divorce. It will be far less painful and confusing for them to hear it directly from their parents instead of overhearing the conversation.
Every couple is different, so a time and place that works for one couple may not work for you. Consider whether your spouse would respond better in public or private.
Take Your Spouse's Feelings into Consideration
Even though you are likely facing a variety of emotion, including sadness, anger and resentment, consider your spouse's feelings with bringing up the topic of divorce. Your spouse may not understand that you have been harboring certain feelings about the marriage, or your announcement may come as a shock. Be prepared to provide an explanation of why you believe divorce is appropriate. Try to remain calm and respectful when discussing divorce with your spouse.
Both Spouses Must Tell the Children
After you have communicated with your spouse about getting a divorce, you will need to talk to your children about how the divorce will affect them. Do not break the news to your children without letting your spouse know that you intend to do so. Talk to your spouse and do your best to reach an agreement about when to tell your children. Ideally, both parents will tell the children together to minimize confusion and blame. Make it clear that you do not intend to get back together.
Ensure that Your Children Know They Aren't the Cause of Your Divorce
Divorce is hard for young children to comprehend. Make sure your children are aware they were not responsible for the decision to separate. Children can be very sensitive to divorce and may struggle to understand the reasons.
Inform Your Children of What to Expect in the Future
By its nature, divorce causes significant life changes. However, you can help your children know what to expect. Be as specific as possible when talking to them about living arrangements, school, and other changes. Be cognizant of each child's age, and do not share inappropriate information with them.
Let Your Children Know that it's OK to Grieve
Remember that is it completely normal for you and your children to grieve. Let them know that is is okay for them to feel sad, and that you feel sad as well. If the emotions become too much to handle, you may consider seeking counseling for yourself or your children.
If you are considering divorce, contact Segarra & Associates, P.A. to help you get started. Our team of divorce attorneys can evaluate your situation and help you determine whether mediation may be a good option to facilitate your divorce agreement. Contact us today for a consultation.