3 Things You Must do Before Telling your Spouse you want a Divorce

 

You have made the decision to get a divorce. Here are three important things you MUST do before breaking the news to your spouse. This list is all about protecting yourself in the event your spouse does not take the news well. 

 

 

1. Make copies of, or photograph, the important documentation:

 

1. house deed

2. retirement statements

3. titles

4. bank statements

5. credit card statements

6. taxes

7. bills

8. photograph or film important items (collections, furniture, jewelry)

 

You will need each of these items in the divorce process. These documents have a way of “disappearing” when emotions start running high. In the worst case scenario, even physical items are  destroyed or “relocated.” Copying or photographing these items will prove they exist and their condition just prior to the divorce. 

 

2. Set aside some money. Let me make this clear- I am not talking about draining accounts, especially those that may have recurring bills automatically withdrawn. What I am suggesting is that you be prepared should your spouse not conduct themselves in an honorable fashion in terms of the finances. 

 

3. Plan your speech and your timing

 

1. I would suggest having “the talk” right before a weekend. This is an emotional situation, and it would be better to have time for this discussion rather than worrying about work the next day. It will also give time for the news to digest.

 

2. Focus on how you feel, not what other person has done or not done in your view. Focusing on yourself is an effective way to avoid the perception of an attack on the other person. When people feel attacked, the arguments begin. 

 

3. Focus on important stuff, like fairness and the children. Be clear that you are not seeking to ruin your spouse financially, or keep them from the children. Instead, you are seeking to accomplish the split in a business like fashion where the needs of all concerned are addressed.

 

4. Be mindful of your safety. Not all spouses will take the news well. If you are concerned about your safety, consider having the talk in a somewhat public location, or asking family or friends to be on stand-by should emotions escalate out of control.

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