There are many steps that lead up to filing for divorce. One of them is sitting down and telling your spouse that you believe the marriage is over. It is past the point of saying you are unhappy, and past the time for marriage counseling. You are ready to move on with a new life.
If you believe you are ready to take this step, it is best to speak with an Illinois divorce attorney beforehand. An experienced lawyer can advise you of your rights, particularly about staying in the house and retaining custody of your kids. That way you know what to do after the conversation.
Mentally Prepare Yourself First
You need to be ready for any outcome of the conversation. Even if your spouse becomes angry and rude afterward, you need to strengthen yourself to continue living in the house with him or her. It is important that you do not leave your house, unless you feel unsafe, in which case you should call the police immediately.
Find a Quiet Time to Talk
It can be difficult to find a time for you and spouse to talk without work calls or the kids needing something. However, no matter how hard it is, you have to make that time. When you want to discuss a separation or divorce, you need to be able to talk to each other honestly and without interruptions.
Do Not Defend or Accuse
Telling your spouse you want a divorce can lead to a volatile situation. He or she may respond with anger and aggression, which can make you feel defensive. If the news is a surprise, you can anticipate a more negative reaction. However, once you have made your decision, you do not need to defend yourself. Additionally, while your spouse may say hurtful things, it is important not to accuse or blame him or her—no matter how much you may want.
This conversation sets the tone for your divorce, so strive to make it as amicable as possible. If you escalate the situation, it reduces the chance that your spouse will calm down in a day or two and be open to a more reasonable conversation.
Listen to Your Spouse
This is not a one-way conversation. Your husband or wife will have things to say—let them. This conversation brings out a lot of emotions, and your spouse needs to be able to express what he or she is feeling just as you expressed the need for a divorce.
Keep in mind, when your spouse says hurtful or accusatory things, you should not take them to heart. It is important to recognize your own failings and part in the marriage, but this is not the time to beat up on yourself. Instead, this is a positive step toward both of you moving forward.
How Our Skilled Attorneys Can Help
The dedicated DuPage County divorce attorneys at our firm can help you every step of the way—from planning your separation to representing you in a collaborative or adversarial divorce. Your attorney will not only guide you through the process for a divorce in Illinois, but will encourage your throughout the journey.