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Announcing that you want a divorce: Why sensitivity is important

Whether or not you are angry or feel betrayed by your spouse, it is important to be somewhat sensitive when announcing that you want a divorce. We frequently write about the potential benefits of an amicable divorce process. It is far more difficult to get your spouse to agree to a non-litigated divorce process if your divorce announcement creates an unnecessary level of hurt or humiliation.

If you wish to have a mediated or negotiated divorce and to avoid costly litigation, it is generally important to remain calm, focused, cooperative when possible and respectful towards your spouse. The way in which you announce that you want a divorce may set the tone for your entire divorce process.

It is certainly okay to be direct when announcing that you want a divorce. However, it is important to consider the method of your announcement and the timing of your announcement. If you are not in an abusive relationship and have no reason to fear for your safety, you may wish to tell your spouse face-to-face. This method of announcing your intentions is more respectful than texting, emailing or calling your spouse to deliver the news.

In addition, it is generally a good idea not to tell your spouse this news if he or she has an important interview or presentation within the next few days, if a loved one has died within the last week, if he or she is getting ready to undergo surgery or your spouse is grappling with any other immediate stressful event. Waiting a few days in order to announce your news may take some of the sting out of your timing.

Source: The Huffington Post, “The 18 Worst Ways To Break Up With Someone,” May 21, 2015

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