Divorce can be a tricky topic to bring up with your spouse, especially when communication is already strained and you are the one initiating it. How you choose to have this conversation could have a major impact on how the divorce process would play out for you as it sets the stage for what kind of position you want to take. Do you want to fight for your entitlements to the nth degree or do you want something more amicable and less costly?
If you are looking for something that is cheap, fast and amicable, an uncontested divorce is the best way to go. In an uncontested divorce, parties are able to agree on the divorce and all of the ancillary issues such as the division of matrimonial assets and custody, care and control of the children.
Here are a number of things to note when you are aiming for an uncontested divorce:
Avoid bringing up divorce in a fit of anger or in the midst of a quarrel.
It is a normal human emotion to be angry and to say things without thinking. Perhaps the constant arguments might even be the very reason why you are considering a divorce. However, when you bring up divorce during a fight, you make it part of the fight instead of the solution to end all the fighting.
Divorce is not a topic that should be discussed when both sides are already extremely emotional and the battle lines have been drawn. If you are raising the issue then, you risk turning the divorce process into yet another platform for all your arguments.
Ideally, you should wait until these heated emotions have simmered down and approached the conversation in a mature and emotionally-levelled manner.
Avoid using divorce as a threat to emotionally blackmail your spouse.
It is not uncommon for people to use the threat of divorce during an argument. However, do not threaten your spouse that if you file for divorce, you will never let them see the children. Such behaviour can leave your spouse a lot of resentment as they would feel devastated and do not how to respond. Naturally, your spouse will become defensive and all trust and security from a relationship will be lost.
If you are the one being emotionally blackmailed, consider bringing it up to a counsellor.
Some people take divorce very personally when they interpret their spouses’ requests for a divorce as rejection. Even if they are not actually happy in the relationship either, rejection hurts and not everyone knows how to deal with it.
Your spouse might resort to emotionally blackmailing you in an attempt to control the situation and make you stay; they may blame you for breaking up the family, being selfish, being a terrible parent etc. When that happens, reasoning with the person is not likely to work.
If you and your spouse are open to counselling, you might want to bring up divorce in the presence of a professional counsellor. This objective third party is trained to help you navigate the emotions surrounding what is undoubtedly a trying time, which could help your spouse to shift their mindset into acceptance that the marriage has broken down.
If counselling is not an option, you can engage a trusted and experienced lawyer to kickstart the divorce process.
Engaging a divorce lawyer does not mean that you are going to war or to court. A good family lawyer can help you to:
- Guide you through the process of negotiations
- Understand the main issues that need to be addressed
- Communicate your intentions and the terms to your spouse
- Communicate your desire to resolve this in an amicable manner