How Do I Discuss to My Partner About Divorce?

It is always difficult to tell your spouse that you want to get a divorce. Do you get angry or emotional? Will they try to talk you out of it or go into attack mode? And of course, it’s just hard to admit that the marriage is over.

You may want to discuss with an attorney how best to discuss divorce matters with your spouse. After all, we have a lot of experience with divorce. And there are situations when it is best to hold back. For example, if you have a history of domestic violence, you may need to evict the house prior to the divorce. It’s also a good thing to create a separation plan to discuss with a Seattle divorce lawyer.

What are the first steps?

First of all, think about what type of divorce you would like to have. If you are hoping to keep the conflict down, rather than exacerbating it, reporting the divorce by delivering papers to your spouse is NOT the way to go. This can be a big slap in the face saying I don’t like you enough or don’t trust you enough to even discuss this with you.

However, when you’re ready to take the plunge, here are some things to keep in mind. Find a time when you are both quiet and inaudible to children. This is a difficult conversation. So don’t respond if either of you is already mad about something else. What you say may also depend on what you know about where your partner is. If you know they may have been considering a divorce, the conversation should be very different from whether the other person has no idea this is coming.

Some tips for keeping the peace in a divorce talk

To keep the fear from getting your partner going, let them know that while you are ready for the divorce, you are not trying to make a big fight of it or take advantage of it. Tell them that you hope the two of you can work together to peacefully find ways to get on terms that work for both of you and that you want to examine ways to reach an out-of-court settlement.

If you have children, also let your partner know that you do not want to fight over the children but that you want to develop plans on how the two of you can most effectively become parents together if you live in separate households.

Stop there and ask your partner how they would like to see the divorce. From the start, this has to be a two-way conversation, not just you. Asking for their input makes them feel like they have a role to play and they can think of a better way to go, and they give you some pointers on what they might be open to.

Then, if things are still on the right track, you can mention that you’ve found information on alternative methods of divorce where attorneys will help you work together rather than fight. If this seems of interest to them, ask if they should find the names of the lawyers who do this type of work so they have someone to get more information from. If your partner is open to this, we will be happy to suggest the names of lawyers with whom we have worked well in the past in our cooperation cases.

What if I think my spouse will accept the divorce easily?

Another option is to both speak to a collaborative divorce coach (one of the typical team members in a collaborative case). They can tell you a lot about the process and the lawyers they worked with. Again, we can give you the names of some divorce coaches that we have worked with in the past.

For more information on some of the different divorce options, please visit

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