Talking to your Spouse About Divorce
There are some divorce lawyers who will tell you that you shouldn’t talk to your spouse about divorce. You should simply file first and this will give you an advantage. Unless you are dealing with a situation involving physical or emotional abuse, not discussing your divorce prior to filing creates significant hurdles to effecting an efficient and fair resolution of your divorce case.
Why It’s Important to Talk First
While many couples may sense that a divorce is imminent, no one likes to be surprised by a divorce filing. Yes, discussing divorce can be uncomfortable, but with these discussions come an ability to determine what type of divorce you want. You have many options: uncontested divorce, mediation, collaborative divorce, litigation, or a hybrid of all of these. When you file for divorce without discussing it with your spouse, you immediately lose your ability to choose how your divorce will proceed.
What You Shouldn’t Talk About
If you do decide to talk to your spouse about your divorce, it’s important to think about what you will and will not discuss. It is best to simply discuss how you want to proceed. An agreement, for example, to keep legal fees down, to preserve what family relationships you can, and to empower your children, goes a long way to ensuring a healthy divorce. As it relates to your children, the less animosity you have in your divorce, the less damage you will do to your children as a result of your divorce.
Why Counseling Can Help Even When It’s Over
Many people think that couples counseling is reserved for couples who are trying to save their marriage. However, couples counseling can be extremely effective for couples who already know that their relationship is heading for divorce. While it can be difficult, it can be very helpful for couples to utilize a counselor to discuss how they would like their divorce to proceed, what their expectations are as parents, and how they would like their lives to proceed after divorce.