20 July 2021
How to tell your partner you want a divorce
It can be very difficult and stressful reaching the conclusion that your relationship has irretrievably broken down. It is perhaps even more stressful deciding how then to approach matters with your partner, to tell them that you would like a divorce.
Officially there is no right or wrong way to do this, as every relationship is different. However, here are some tips that may help to make this conversation with your partner a little easier:
- Ensure you have time.
Set aside some time to have this conversation with your partner. You do not want to feel rushed, for example because there is a pressing appointment in your diary. Give yourself plenty of time. We recommend ensuring that any children are not present.
Depending on your situation, it may also be worth considering where you will feel most comfortable having this conversation, be it in private or a public place (such as a park, or a café).
- Plan your words.
This is a difficult conversation for anyone to have, so to make it easier consider ahead of time what you would like to say. When explaining your decision, perhaps try to use ‘you’ less, and ‘I’ more. For example, ‘I have come to the realisation that I need to…’. However, we recommend in relation to any children to continue to say ‘our’ rather than ‘my’.
This can help to promote agreement and understanding between you and your partner.
- Be confident and calm.
Once you have made the decision, be confident in it. Remember, you are entitled to feel how you do about your relationship (even if your partner does not feel the same way).
However, as your partner may or may not have anticipated the conversation about the end of the relationship, it may come as a shock, and they may not immediately comprehend what you are saying. So, try to be calm in your presentation and if necessary be prepared to repeat yourself.
- Get support.
This may be from a family member, a friend, or a coach/counsellor. It can be helpful to talk about your decision, your relationship, and how you are feeling about what is a big change in your life. You may also find it useful to ensure you have someone to go to after the conversation with your partner, for emotional support.
To understand the practical aspects of your divorce process, legal guidance, and the next steps, it is also important to obtain advice from a specialist family lawyer at an early stage.
You can also follow our family team's Instagram here: @familylawyers_bpc