9 Steps for Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce


Breaking up is hard to do, but sometimes it’s the best thing for everyone involved. If you have made the decision to get a divorce, you need to tell your spouse in a way that is respectful and considerate.

Breaking the news to your spouse that you want a divorce is never easy. It can be one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have. But if you follow these nine steps, it may make the process a little bit easier for both of you.


9 Steps for Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

Here is the best way to break down the news of divorce to your spouse:

Avoid Surprising Your Spouse

This can be a shocking conversation for your spouse, so it is important to avoid surprising them with the news. Discussing the possibility of divorce before having the actual conversation may help ease the shock and give your spouse time to process their emotions.

Select a Private Area

Choose a quiet, private area where you won’t be interrupted or overheard. This is a sensitive conversation, and you want to ensure that it stays between the two of you.

Plan For Anger and Be Ready How to Say It

Your spouse may react with anger or disbelief. It is important to anticipate this and have a plan for how to handle their emotions in a respectful way. Remain calm, listen actively, and avoid getting defensive.

couple on couch

Remain Calm

This can be an emotionally charged conversation, but it is important to remain as calm and collected as possible. Take deep breaths and try to keep the conversation focused on your personal reasons for wanting a divorce rather than getting into a heated argument.

Refrain From a Trial Separation

While some couples may consider trying a trial separation, it is important to note that this may delay the inevitable and make the divorce process more difficult in the long run. It is better to address the issue head-on and move forward with the necessary steps.

Uphold Boundaries

This conversation should not devolve into a discussion about past wrongdoings or attempts to manipulate or guilt trip your spouse. Stay focused on the decision to move forward with a divorce and maintain healthy boundaries in the conversation.

Hire a Collaborative Lawyer

It is important to have legal representation during the divorce process. Look for a lawyer who specializes in collaborative divorces, which prioritize open communication and compromise rather than costly court battles.


Overall, it is important to approach this conversation with empathy and respect for your spouse’s emotions. While it may be a difficult conversation, following these steps can make the process a little bit easier for both parties involved.