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Keep the future in mind when asking for a divorce

If the time has come to ask your spouse for a divorce, don't make the mistake of approaching them at a bad time. This is one of the most important and difficult conversations you'll ever have, so you need to prepare accordingly while considering the impact of your approach on the future.

The right approach to asking for divorce can put you on the path to moving through the process in the most efficient way possible. Conversely, if this conversation turns ugly, it could make for more problems than you need in the weeks and months to come.

Here are four things you should do:

  • Prepare yourself: Knowing what you want to say will help you jumpstart the conversation and keep you on track throughout. You can't prepare for everything, but you can at least have a basic idea of the approach you want to take.
  • Choose a time and place that works for both of you: One of the biggest mistakes you can make is blurting out that you want a divorce at the wrong time and/or in the wrong place. You should set time aside to discuss this, giving you and your partner all the time you need to get everything out in the open.
  • Don't change your mind: As you begin to discuss your divorce, your spouse may fight back. They may tell you that they'll change. They may tell you that you can work things out. It's okay to listen, but if you're 100 percent sure you want to proceed with the divorce process you shouldn't change your mind.
  • Don't get caught up in the details of your divorce: If you make this mistake when asking for a divorce, it can quickly lead to escalating tension. There's time to discuss matters regarding property division, child custody, child support and alimony in mediation or court. You don't have to jump into this right now.

As you plan how you want to ask for a divorce, focus on the steps you can take to avoid conflict and set yourself up for success as the process unfolds in the future.

Once you have this conversation out of the way, learn how to file for divorce and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.

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