Talking to your spouse about your divorce before you file may seem like a tall order, but it’s the best way to go in cases where a person isn’t being subjected to emotional or physical abuse. Some people may tell you that if you file first, you’ll gain an advantage, but in reality, you may actually end up creating hurdles for yourself that could have been avoided. If you haven’t yet talked to your spouse about divorce but know it’s the right way forward, here’s what to consider before you have the conversation.
Talking first can defuse the situation
Even if you and your spouse can sense that divorce is where you are headed, no one wants to be surprised by a divorce filing. Discussing the divorce may not be very comfortable, but this conversation allows you to decide what type of divorce you want. There are a lot of options in New Mexico, from collaborative divorce to mediation, and some approaches that are a mix of things. If you file without talking to your spouse about it first, you’ll likely lose the opportunity to decide how the divorce is going to proceed. Both of you can explore the options together as long as one person doesn’t jump the gun and file without telling the other.
Keep some things off the table
When you do decide to speak to your spouse about the divorce before filing, you should consider what you will and will not talk about first and stick to those boundaries. Generally, it’s best to just discuss how you and your spouse want to go forward with the divorce. If you can come to an agreement together on working toward keeping the legal costs down, empowering your children and preserving family relationships as much as possible, you’ll likely have a better experience when it comes to the divorce process. Naturally, when it comes to your kids, the less negativity in the divorce, the better it is for them.
Do be truthful
You do not want to be cruel to your spouse as that will not help matters even if you are angry or feel wronged in some way, but you do want to be honest when you talk to your spouse about divorce. Not being truthful could lead to problems later and make the divorce more contentious than it would have been had you just been upfront. Be as honest as you can be, especially when it comes to how you want the divorce to go.
Counseling provides benefits even when you know it is over
Couples counseling is something that people assume is only for those who are trying to save their marriage. However, counselors do work with couples who are prepared to divorce to help them at various stages in the process and with their post-divorce lives. A counselor can help you talk about your wishes for the divorce, your expectations as parents and how each of you want to move forward once the divorce is final. Going to see a counselor can be very helpful to divorcing couples who have long-standing or serious problems communicating with each other.
When you are ready to divorce and you have spoken to your spouse about it, the final piece is finding an experienced family law attorney to help you during this process. Speak to an attorney about your case, and make sure he or she understands where you are and what you want. It’s very important that you trust and have confidence in your attorney, so be sure to take the time to choose yours wisely.