How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce


Expressing that you want a divorce is one of the most difficult conversations you can encounter in life. If you have decided that you want a divorce, you should be prepared for the nerve-wracking yet unavoidable confrontation that will follow. Take the time to think things through and plan out what you will say to your spouse. The way you deliver the news can set the stage for your divorce and affect your family for years to come.

Here are a few tips on how to tell your spouse you want a divorce:

Choose the right time and place

Timing is everything if you are about to break devastating news to your spouse. You should tell them when you are both calm and at ease – don’t tell them you want a divorce during or immediately following a heated argument. You should also pick a day when you know you will have time to discuss the situation at length following the confession. In other words, don’t tell them right before they leave for a big business trip – try telling them at the beginning of the weekend.

As for location, don’t tell them in a public place. Instead, choose a private and quiet location. You should also avoid breaking the news when the kids are around.

Be honest about whether you are open to fixing the marriage

If you are dead set on a divorce, don’t give your spouse the impression that you are open to working things out or trying to repair the relationship. This will only give your spouse false hope and leave them feeling bitter or resentful when you inevitably do file for divorce.

If you are genuinely open to trying to fix the marriage, express that. Instead of saying you want a divorce, tell your spouse that you haven’t been happy with the relationship and that you want to see if you can work out the things that are bothering you.

Don’t point fingers or assign blame

Even if you feel that the breakdown of your relationship lies on your spouse’s shoulders, blaming them for your desire to get a divorce will only leave their feelings hurt and possibly even defensive. Rather than using “you” statements – like “you never” or “you should have” – focus more on expressing how you feel. You can be direct and frank that you are no longer happy with your marriage without blaming them for your unhappiness.

Acknowledge that you are both unhappy

Even in a one-sided divorce, it’s highly likely that both spouses believe there are problems with the marriage. Tell your spouse that you are unhappy with the marriage and explain that you believe they are also unhappy. This will prompt your spouse to admit their unhappiness and make it easier to move forward.

Be direct but kind

When delivering the news, be compassionate. This is clearly a delicate situation and is probably not something your spouse wants to hear. It’s always better to part amicably rather than burning a bridge and disrespecting each other – especially if you have children together and will have to co-parent after your divorce. The more you treat your spouse with kindness and compassion, the smoother your divorce will likely be.

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If you are considering filing for divorce, you’ll want legal representation from an attorney you can trust. Law Practice, Ltd. offers comprehensive and client-focused counsel that you can count on. Turn to our divorce lawyers in your time of need.

Call (702) 899-2875 to schedule an initial consultation today.