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Breaking the News that You Want a Divorce


How do you summon up the courage to tell your spouse that you’re not in love anymore?  Will you shout out cruelly in a moment of anger or frustration that you’ve had it and you want to split?  Or will you avoid the discussion all together, and simply have the papers served at work, sure to change the locks before your spouse shows up at the house?  While both of those methods have certainly been used time and again, you may be better off treating this moment with respect and coming up with a better strategy in order to set the tone for the months ahead.

When is the Time Right? 

Divorce is a tricky topic to broach, particularly if your spouse is going to be blind sighted by the news of your wishes.  So how do you know when the time is right?  There are definitely times that are not right:

  • When your spouse is heading out the door for work;
  • When your family is dealing with a major ordeal like a funeral, operation, wedding, etc.;
  • When one or both of you is swamped with a big project and won’t have time to devote to the discussion.

While you don’t want to put the discussion off indefinitely, it is important to find a time that you can both focus on the issue.

Where to Talk 

Your home may be the best place for the conversation, assuming you have privacy and feel safe there.  Importantly, protect your children from the discussion at this time, and consider whether your pets might have a negative response to the stress.

What to Say 

The details of your situation will differ, but some key guidelines apply to the majority of situations:

  • Be straightforward and honest about your feelings & plans;
  • If you are willing to try to repair the marriage with time apart or counseling, discuss those options;
  • If you know this is over for you, don’t string your spouse along with false hopes;
  • Assure your spouse that this has been building for a while and has been carefully considered;
  • Explain that you will be fair and respectful throughout the process;
  • Be prepared for your spouse to respond, and listen carefully, but stand your ground;
  • Come up with ideas about when and how to break the news to the kids, family, and friends;
  • Use compassion, remembering that while you’ve had time to prepare for this conversation, it’s the first your spouse is hearing about it;
  • Make an agreement to talk again later, after the news has been digested, as your spouse will likely have more to say.

See an Attorney 

At The Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, our skilled and experienced Baltimore divorce attorneys will listen to and address your concerns moving forward.  Contact our office to schedule a confidential consultation today.




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