Saturday, October 1, 2016

Considering Divorce? Maybe You Should Talk About It

Most people start thinking about divorce long before they talk with anyone.

For some, it takes a long time to reach the conclusion that divorce is necessary.  Sometimes a spouse is doing the same thing, quietly thinking about it, and that may be helpful.

Other times, a spouse may be blissfully unaware and think everything is fine.

If you suddenly announce your intention to file for divorce and surprise your spouse, you should expect a number of possible reactions:
  • Surprise and hurt
  • Anger
  • Fear about the future
  • Striking back with high demands
  • A spouse who wants to hurt and punish you 
There are many reasons for delaying talking about a possible divorce, but the result may be heightened conflict.  Some people react worse than others do to surprises.

To avoid surprises and bad reactions, maybe the key is to find a way to start talking about divorce long before you are planning to file. Naturally, you  need to be  be careful about how your approach the topic. You should also be kind and anticipate your spouse's feelings.

If you just start mentioning that you are considering getting a divorce, there are some downsides to that, such as:
  • Retaliation
  • Giving your spouse time to plan his/her own strategy
  • Hiding of assets by your spouse
  • Your spouse giving out false or misleading information to family or friends
  • Having to discuss the issues with your spouse over and over while you are still together
The best course of action may be to talk with a counselor, maybe including couples counseling.  If you go to couples counseling, you should probably have a separate counselor for yourself.  You could also suggest a separate counselor for your spouse. A counselor can help you figure out the best way to break the news and start a transition to being divorced.

You may also want to consult with an attorney about different ways to handle the issue and how to prepare.  Experienced Family Law attorneys have seen many different exit strategies and can help you decide the best course of action.

Knowing when and how to bring up a possible divorce is very difficult.  Getting professional help is a great way to figure out what would work best in your situation.