If you are in a broken marriage, you may be considering pursuing a divorce. In Texas, residents can pursue a contested or uncontested divorce. Many benefits come from pursuing a peaceful, uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on all of the major issues in the divorce.
Uncontested divorces are generally quicker, more affordable, and less stressful than contested ones. If you would like to pursue a peaceful divorce, how you present the topic of divorce is crucial. As the initiator, you have time to prepare for the discussion about divorcing peacefully. Preparing to ask your spouse to divorce peacefully can help you move forward with your goal of divorcing peacefully.
Prepare What You Would Like to Say Before You Say It
Now that you have decided to pursue a divorce, it is time to prepare for having a difficult conversation with your spouse. You may feel overwhelmed with anxiety or emotion at the thought of talking to your spouse about getting divorced. Even when both spouses want to get divorced, initiating a conversation about starting the divorce process can be emotionally challenging. The best way to prepare for this conversation is to start with yourself.
You can empower yourself with information and practice healthy living, both mentally and physically. It is also important to focus on ending this relationship before finding a new relationship. If you have children, it is crucial that you are prepared to prioritize the well-being of your children. Additionally, acting respectfully toward your spouse will help you tremendously.
Identify and Adhere to Your Goals
After you have worked on getting yourself into a peaceful mental state, it is time to start thinking about what you are going to say. Before the first conversation, you may want to identify your goals. Before diving into your initial conversation, think about realistic goals for a peaceful, cordial divorce. If you would like to pursue a peaceful, uncontested divorce, your goal should not be to win everything and punish your spouse. If that is your mentality and goal, you will likely end up in a heated battle that could end up in contentious litigation. To obtain a peaceful divorce, you and your spouse will have to use self-control and your best judgment to work toward a mutually beneficial divorce settlement.
You can break down your goals into two main categories: financial goals and personal goals. When considering your financial goals, take time to understand your current finances. Prepare to be forthcoming, detailed, and honest about your assets and debts. When pursuing a peaceful divorce, you should avoid hiding assets from your spouse or moving funds out of a joint account to a personal one. You can set the tone by truthfully listing all of your assets and debts in a spreadsheet.
Next, you should consider your financial future. How much do you need to live after you become divorced? What are your most important assets to walk away with after the divorce? What assets are you willing to allow your spouse to own after the divorce during the negotiation? Again, using a winner takes all attitude will not further your goal of a peaceful divorce.
It is also important that you focus on your personal goals for your post-divorce life. Do you envision yourself being friends, or at least friendly, with your ex-spouse? Would you like to maintain an independent yet civil relationship? How would you like your children to see you and your spouse after your divorce? Visualizing a peaceful relationship between you, your ex-spouse, and your children can help you stay strong when initiating a divorce with your spouse.
Prepare Your Main Points
Before you begin the discussion, you should prepare your thoughts beforehand. These types of conversations are emotionally loaded, and it can be easy to get off track and not focus on the points you want to bring up. Write down the main points of your talk ahead of time. Then you can look at your list and memorize the order you would like to say them to your spouse. Before the conversation begins, try to get into an emotionally neutral state. Controlling your emotions can help you communicate your main points in a way that is less threatening and more clear to your spouse.
You know your spouse and probably have an idea of the questions and objections they may bring up. Prepare to address any possible objections, but remember that it may not be the best time to get into a back-and-forth argument during the initial consultation. Practicing your speech can help you feel confident, especially if you are worried your voice will not be heard and your spouse will cut you off when you request a divorce. Practicing in front of a mirror can help you increase your determination and remember the main points you want to bring up.
Use Neutral Language
Remaining emotionally neutral during the discussion can be extremely challenging. However, if you can stay neutral with your gestures, tone, and words, it can help you further your goal of a peaceful divorce. Getting angry, yelling, or using inflammatory language may feel good at the moment, but it won’t help you move toward your desired result. Practicing your talking points can help you stabilize your emotions when you talk to your spouse.
Do you feel like you will not be able to stay neutral and calm when having this discussion? If so, you may want to reach out to a family therapist for support. Remember that it is likely your spouse will not be calm when you tell them you want to pursue a peaceful divorce. You should prepare yourself mentally for your spouse’s emotional response. After an emotional response, count to 10 and take a deep breath before you begin speaking again. Speaking calmly, confidently, and slowly helps avoid name-calling, screaming, and escalation.
Do Not Bring Up Past Grievances
Bringing up past grievances can be extremely tempting when initiating the divorce process. Remember that it is unlikely that your spouse will agree about their past misbehavior, so bringing up past grievances will not help you move forward toward your goal of a peaceful divorce. Doing so can increase the conflict and remove the focus from your conversation’s purpose.
Instead of bringing up past the grievances when telling your spouse you would like to get divorced, you may want to deal with those grievances in other ways. For example, you may want to meet with a family therapist and talk about your grievances and how to move forward from them. You may want to speak to a close friend who will keep your grievances confidential. Another option is to write out a grievance letter and then throw it away.
Consider the Best Timing to Ask Your Spouse to Divorce Peacefully
Timing is crucial when it comes to initiating a discussion about divorce. While there is never a perfect time to tell your spouse you want a divorce, some moments are better than others. For example, if you have children, you will want to wait for the conversation when your children are not there. When you have decided to get divorced, it can be tempting to try and get the conversation over as quickly as possible, do not indulge your impulses and try to wait for the best time. Try to find a time when you and your spouse are not exhausted.
You should have the conversation on the weekend, not after a long work day when you are both tired. You could schedule a time when your children can spend the night with friends or relatives. You may want to find a time when there is not any pressing matter you will need to attend to for a few hours after you discuss getting divorced. Make sure you will have plenty of time to talk and that you are both calm and not irritated or frustrated. Having this conversation in public may not be the best option, especially if your spouse will react poorly after feeling like you are springing a difficult topic on them in public.
Do Not Use the Word “You” in an Accusatory Manner
Avoiding an accusatory tone can help keep the peace when having difficult conversations. For example, if you start the conversation by saying, “you are never home, so I’m always alone,” your spouse May shoot back with another accusation or by being defensive. Instead, you can use the words “I” or “we” to avoid focusing all the blame on your spouse. For example, you may want to say, “I’ve been feeling lonely lately because I think we’ve drifted apart.”
To pursue a peaceful divorce and cooperate with your spouse during the process, it is crucial that you do not put the entire blame on your spouse. Avoiding playing the blame game will set a positive tone for you both to work together toward a no-fault, uncontested divorce. Even if you know that your spouse has done certain things to contribute to the divorce, now is not the time to mention those issues. Instead, you can base your discussion on your feelings without getting into specific details that could lead to a he-said, she-said argument. You can still be honest with your spouse without adding accusations into the conversation.
Know How to Start the Conversation
As mentioned above, the types of words you choose to talk to your spouse about getting divorced can shape the rest of the process positively or negatively. This will be a milestone conversation that both of you will look back on as you move forward. Approaching this conversation compassionately and preparing your spouse for the news can help. You may be wondering whether you should jump into the topic immediately and get it out or work into the statement that you would like to pursue a peaceful divorce slowly. The answer depends on several factors, including your spouse’s mental state and personality.
Start the conversation by acknowledging that there are problems in your marriage. For example, you may want to say something like, “I’ve been struggling with our marriage for a while and would like to discuss it with you.” instead of starting out by directly saying you want a divorce, you may want to gently state that you have been unhappy for awhile and think it is time to discuss the possibility of a divorce.
The fact is that there is no superior way to ask your spouse for a peaceful divorce. Asking for a divorce is always going to be a challenging conversation. Still, staying emotionally neutral and keeping your spouse’s feelings in mind when choosing your words can make the conversation easier. Respecting your spouse’s feelings and thoughts but standing firm by your decision that you do want to move forward can be helpful.
Listen to Your Spouse’s Points Carefully
If your spouse does not know that you are seriously considering getting a divorce, they may be baffled and surprised. Your spouse will probably experience an initial shock and may not be able to discuss the issue due to the emotional surprise of the conversation. However, after the initial shock wears off, they will probably want to express their opticians. Your spouse may try to deny that things are as bad as you claim. Your spouse may claim that you are at fault for the marriage breaking down. They may ask you to provide reasons for seeking a divorce or even accuse you of having an affair.
Remember that your spouse’s emotions are valid, just as your emotions are valid. You can expect an emotional reaction and should prepare yourself to listen carefully to your spouse. as difficult as it may be, try to avoid interrupting your spouse when they speak. Doing so will make them feel respected and heard. Interrupting or arguing with them could inflame the situation and make it harder to pursue a peaceful divorce. You may want to consider validating their feelings, especially their sense of frustration or even betrayal but stay resolute in your belief that divorce is the right decision for both of you.
Give Your Partner Time to Process
Learning that a spouse would like to get a divorce can be devastating, especially if the other spouse was not expecting it. Even if your husband or wife knew deep down that your marriage was struggling, hearing the news that you want to get divorced can still be a major emotional blow. Depending on your spouse’s personality and the unique circumstances in your case, your spouse may need time to process what you have said to respond. Give your spouse the time they need to analyze the situation and work through their emotions.
For some people, it is difficult to react and create a plan after hearing what they consider a bombshell announcement. They may need time alone to think about the divorce. If you push your spouse to try to respond or pressure them to agree to an uncontested divorce right away, it could hurt the prospects of pursuing a peaceful divorce in the long run. On the other hand, you do not want to wait too long to return to the topic. If you wait too long, your spouse may think you have changed your mind.
Have a Plan for What to Do After Talking to Your Spouse
The steps you should take after asking your spouse for a peaceful divorce depend on your spouse’s reaction. Your spouse may be shocked because they did not anticipate you asking for a divorce. Your spouse may try to blame you for the breakdown of your marriage. In other cases, your spouse may try to argue with you and change your mind. Perhaps your spouse agrees with you and is somewhat relieved that you have brought up the prospect of divorce because they have been thinking the same thing as you for a while.
Knowing your spouse well can help you prepare for a particular response and anticipate it so you can make a plan. However, it is important to understand that the initial conversation about getting a divorce is only the beginning. You will have time to make decisions in the days following the initial conversation. Creating a peaceful tone, being open to listening to your spouse, and giving your spouse time to adjust to the situation you have revealed in the conversation can give you a better chance to divorce peacefully and pursue an uncontested divorce.
When to Discuss the Specifics of Your Divorce
You may feel the need to discuss all of the major issues in the divorce and the legal process immediately after you ask your spouse about getting a divorce. For most people, there are better moments to begin diving into the practicalities. Your partner may need more time to be emotionally ready to transition into practical discussions, especially if they are not on the same page about wanting to get divorced immediately.
These discussions can be emotionally draining, even for you as the person who brought up the prospect of pursuing a peaceful divorce. You will also need time to rest and recharge after having a tense discussion. Taking time to refresh and get your thoughts together can help you discuss contested details for the divorce, including the following:
- Financial support and property ownership
- The division of assets and debts after the divorce
- Custody and visitation issues
- Housing arrangements
- Spousal maintenance or alimony
What if My Spouse Lashes Out in a Violent Way?
Sometimes, a spouse will lash out violently when they learn their spouse wants a divorce. If you are afraid that your spouse will become violent, you may want to discuss your case with an attorney. A protective order may be beneficial. You may want to have the support of friends or family members when you discuss the divorce with your spouse. If your spouse is violent, it is important that you call 911 and ask for a police officer to come to the scene. You should also discuss your case with an attorney who can help you seek an emergency protective order.
What if My Spouse Refuses to Pursue a Peaceful Divorce?
Your spouse may deny your need for a divorce and claim that they want to stay in the relationship. If you feel like you are already done with the marriage relationship and want to end it as soon as possible, it is important that you have a strategy for dealing with your spouse’s objections. Your spouse may try to persuade you to stay in the marriage by bringing up your children or using other types of leverage to keep you in the marriage.
Your spouse may claim you can’t support yourself financially or that your children will be hurt by you getting a divorce. Think about the types of arguments your spouse will bring up. You should prepare yourself for these objections and stay focused on the goal of getting a divorce. Arguing with your spouse may not be the best option, especially during the initial conversation.
Understand Your Legal Options
Understanding your legal options is crucial. If you would like to pursue a peaceful divorce, you should work toward an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, neither spouse must prove fault. Instead, both spouses agree that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. You will need to agree with your spouse on all the major issues of the divorce to obtain an uncontested divorce.
Are You Considering an Uncontested Divorce in Texas? Divorce Concierge is Here to Help
Talking to your spouse about the potential of pursuing a peaceful, uncontested divorce can be challenging. The Divorce Concierge is here to help you pursue an affordable, quick divorce. We offer clients flat-rate divorce packages. When you choose one of our uncontested divorce packages, you will be able to know exactly how much your divorce will cost. Instead of being surprised with additional hourly legal fees, you will be able to plan and budget for your divorce. If you would like to learn more about our flat-rate divorce packages, contact Divorce Concierge to discuss your case.