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How to approach divorce when one spouse does not want it

Despite a lot of the hype, the divorce rate across the United States has actually been dropping. The New York Times reported on the decline back in 2014, and yet, many people still view the drop as surprising. 

It seldom occurs that both spouses are on the exact same page regarding divorce. On many occasions, it is one spouse who wants the divorce while another is against it to an extent. It is difficult to approach the subject, but it is better to pursue it than remain in an unhappy marriage. Although there are no guarantees, there are certain approaches to take when bringing up the subject of divorce.

Be sure this is serious

All spouses have thoughts of divorce once in a while. Relationships can be difficult, especially when going through an argument. However, there is a difference between going through a rough patch and seeing no possibility of the relationship getting better. Before a spouse brings up divorce, he or she needs to be certain that this is what he or she truly desires. Additionally, the spouse should be able to provide conclusive evidence as to why a divorce would ultimately be for the best. 

Bring it up kindly

Simply saying the word “divorce” can be dread-inducing. This subject can be shocking for both parties. The goal is to be realistic and respectful. There is no need to get paperwork involved at this point. Simply talk it out and review options. 

Give it time

After the initial conversation, it is likely both spouses will need to do some soul-searching. After some time passes, it can be appropriate for the spouse who wants to initiate the divorce to bring it back up. The other partner has now had time to review the relationship and go over options. While the divorce process may not be easy, it can be more manageable if both spouses are honest with one another from the beginning.

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Divorce: a Practical Guide

Divorce: A Practical Guide

Attorney Jusino’s new book on divorce is an easy read and full of valuable information. Learn More