January is one of the two times of the year (the other is around August) when there’s a spike in the number of new divorce filings. If you’re among the crowd that intends to make a new life for yourself in the new year, you already know that breaking the news to your spouse probably won’t be easy.
You want to put some thought into your approach, however, because the way you start your divorce process can heavily influence how you end it. If you’re hoping that you can have an amicable parting, here are some of the best tips to keep in mind:
1. Be clear, be direct and be kind.
There’s nothing to be gained by giving your spouse false hope that you’ll reconcile if you know you’re truly done – so don’t do it. Don’t agree to try a little longer or go to counseling together if your heart isn’t in it. That’s not productive or kind.
By the same token, you don’t need to enumerate all of your spouse’s failings in the relationship to justify your decision. Simply tell your spouse that this isn’t working and that you aren’t happy. If your spouse tries to go back over all of the battles you’ve had in your marriage, refocus them on the present. None of that matters now.
2. Define your priorities and set some expectations.
It’s not your job anymore to help manage your spouse’s feelings, but you do want to give them some time to adjust to the news before you talk about the details of the divorce and what you’d like to see happen.
On the other hand, you do want your spouse to know that your priorities are in the future and that your primary goal is to make sure that you both walk away without doing each other any further harm. That can help reassure your spouse that you want to play fair and work together for an amicable parting.
3. Remember that compromise is key, and equity out rules equality.
It’s a rare divorce that doesn’t involve a lot of compromises, so be willing to scale back your expectations and goals.
Fortunately, Virginia is an equitable distribution state, so that may make it easier to divide the marital assets and debts if you’re getting divorced here in Aldi or the surrounding area. What’s ultimately “fair” may not be remotely equal.
Above all, make sure that you keep your focus firmly on the future and preserve your own sense of equilibrium during this time. Nothing can guarantee a friendly divorce, but you can protect yourself against a lot of problems with experienced legal guidance.