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First Divorce Conversation - What Not to Do

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 7-Jul-2012

Now that you've read about how to tell your spouse you want an uncontested divorce, here is some information on what to avoid during this critical conversation. Remember you want to make this as smooth as possible. Blaming, yelling and making the other party feel guilty will not serve you well at this point. Leave the past in the past and move forward with your future.

Timing is essential. Don't have this conversation in the middle of the night when you are both tired and easily swayed into a blood battle. Morning is best and thereafter anytime until early evening.

Do not blame. Sure, you are mad about that first date when he showed up late and didn't bother to call. Even last night brings a rage of memories when she was nagging about the football game. There is nothing you can do to change what happened in the past, move on and see how you are going to have a healthy divorce – even if your marriage wasn't healthy.

Don't defend yourself. Your spouse is hurt and angry right now. More than likely you are going to be accused of every wrong under the sun. The moment you start defending yourself you are taking the conversation off topic. Keep a steady focus on the fact that you want a divorce, you are hearing your spouse and that you are looking to do this in a respectable manner.

Avoid pushing your spouse's buttons. Sure you know him/her so well could find his/her smallest buttons in the dark, but remember the ultimate price you are going to pay for doing this. It's almost certainly not worth it.

Don't bring up a settlement agreement in the first conversation. You may feel that you are ready to move on and want to go into the details of dividing up property and other divorce details. Keep these details out of the first conversation, or you could come off as insensitive. Pushing too hard will often get you a lot of resistance, give your spouse a little time for the divorce to sink in. Later on you can figure out the details of your settlement agreement.

Do not advertise that you are getting a divorce before you tell your spouse. If your spouse finds out before you tell him/her you are going to find yourself with a bigger problem than with what you started. Also, it's easy to get overwhelmed with everybody's advice, regardless with how well meaning it may be.

Don't have the kids around. If you can, have them somewhere else for the day. This is an adult conversation and the kids don't need to be witnesses to it. You and your spouse can figure out how you will tell the children together at a later time.

We suggest you take some time and practice what you want to say. This will make it easier when the time comes. Also, taking your frustration out may be a good idea before your conversation. Try punching a couple of pillows on your bed to get some of the anger out if you think it will help you to feel calmer.

After you have had a conversation about an uncontested divorce with your spouse contact Attorney James Cairns for a free initial consultation 888.863.9115. For an immediate free virtual consultation, visit our Divorce Wizard. The Divorce Wizard will analyze and qualify your case for an online Pennsylvania divorce, calculate your legal fees, and let you file your case immediately.