4 Things to Consider When Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce


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Telling your spouse or partner that you want a divorce is one of – if not the – most important discussions you will have in your life.

While there’s no universal approach for all people on how to even broach the subject, it should be handled with as much care, thoughtfulness, and preparedness as possible.

Because California is a no-fault state, whether or not your spouse or partner agrees to the divorce is irrelevant. If one of you wants one, a divorce cannot be prevented by the other.

Still, it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to take time and care in the way you deliver the news. Yes, the conversation can be difficult, but here are a few ideas that will hopefully guide you as you prepare for this life-changing moment.

  1. Be sure you want a divorce.
    It’s true that most marriages and partnerships have their own unique peaks and valleys, but divorce should never be used as a threat of some sort. Instead, take the time to think things through thoroughly, paying close attention to how your life will change; the way your relationship with your children or other family members will be impacted, etc.
  2. Select the right time and location.
    The way you handle this part can go a long way in determining whether your divorce will be a nasty affair or one that you both can handle as peacefully as possible. No one benefits from a nasty divorce.

    You know the emotional state of your spouse or partner perhaps better than anyone else. In movies, it’s not uncommon for one spouse to suddenly announce “I want a divorce” over the dinner table; this is definitely not the way it should be done in real life.

Instead, wait for the right moment so that your spouse or partner will be able to emotionally accept and process the news.

Rather than in a public space, share the news when both of you are in a quiet and private location.

  1. Let your spouse accept and process your decision.
    Rather than immediately going into details about what you want in terms of custody, support, and property division, show your spouse or partner the respect they deserve by letting them ask questions and express themselves.
  2. Anticipate the reaction.
    Instead of filling the conversation with “you” statements, use “I.” This makes it more likely that blame and fighting can be avoided. Be gentle but firm, and do your best to remain as calm as possible.

If you’re facing divorce in San Diego, call the Men’s Legal Center.

The decision to divorce is one that should be handled with as much forethought and care as possible. As licensed San Diego family law attorneys, the Men’s Legal Center is here to serve as a resource for you as you prepare for divorce and through the process itself.

You can receive a free phone consultation and make your appointment by calling 619-234-3838 or via email.

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