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How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on September 16, 2020 in Illinois Divorce

St. Charles divorce attorney

The decision to initiate a divorce is usually not one that happens overnight. In many cases, it comes after a long period of marital troubles and dissatisfaction, and the longer you put it off, the more challenging it may be to broach the subject. However, it is not possible to start working toward the future without first telling your spouse of your intentions. If you have decided that a divorce is your best option, you should think carefully about how to approach this difficult conversation before you begin the legal proceedings to end your marriage.

Tips for Starting the Conversation About Divorce

The first conversation with your spouse about divorce can set the tone for the entire process. A heated argument can make things more difficult in the long run, but a rational discussion can give you a better chance at a cooperative resolution. Here are some tips for telling your spouse that you want a divorce:

  • Stay calm and collected: Do not approach the conversation when you are angry or upset. Make sure you have thought through what you want to say, and find an appropriate day and location where you and your spouse have privacy and plenty of time for the discussion.

  • Do not place blame: This conversation is not the time to accuse your spouse of everything he or she has done wrong throughout your marriage, and in fact, it is best to avoid this approach entirely. Instead, acknowledge that you are unhappy in the marriage and that you believe divorce is the right decision for both of you to have a chance at a better future.

  • Be firm: Make it clear that you have given this decision significant thought and that your desire for a divorce is firm. Your spouse may try to argue with your decision, but if you know what you want, do your best to hold your ground. If you are not totally sure that you want a divorce, it may be best to suggest couple’s therapy, marriage counseling, or another approach before bringing up the option of divorce.

  • Express your desire to cooperate: Explain to your spouse that you want to minimize stress throughout the divorce process and that you want to work to reach a resolution that works for both of you. This can open the door for mediation and other cooperative approaches or alternative dispute resolution methods.

  • Listen actively: Understand that your spouse may be surprised, upset, or angry when you share your decision, and make an effort to listen to his or her response. You do not have to engage if your spouse starts to escalate an argument, but at least try to acknowledge his or her feelings.

  • Give it time: Your divorce will not be resolved in this first conversation, so it is important to be patient. Be prepared to give your spouse time to process what you have said and come back to the conversation at a later time, especially if you sense that emotions are getting in the way of a constructive discussion.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

If you need legal advice before telling your spouse that you want a divorce, the attorneys at Weiler & Associates, Inc. are ready to help. We can also represent you throughout the divorce process with an approach that protects your interests while keeping conflict to a minimum. Contact our knowledgeable and compassionate St. Charles divorce lawyers today at 630-382-8050.


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