You’ve thought long and hard about your marriage and have come to the conclusion that divorce would be in your best interest. While you’re ready to proceed, there’s one more thing you need to do: Share your true feelings with your spouse.

When asking for a divorce, it’s important that you do your best to keep the peace. If the conversation quickly turns into an argument, it will set you up for a difficult process moving forward.

Here are some steps you can take when asking for a divorce:

  • Be clear about your intentions: Don’t beat around the bush, stretch the truth or give your spouse reason to believe you’ll change your mind. If divorce is what you want, don’t change your mind now.
  • Be open to answering questions: If you’re uncomfortable with a question, it’s your right to explain that to your spouse. However, if you want to have a productive conversation about your marriage and what comes next, it’s okay to ask and answer questions.
  • Choose the right time and place: Many people make the mistake of blurting out their intentions at the wrong time and/or in the wrong place. As an important conversation, you need to give yourself enough time in private to talk through everything.
  • Don’t discuss the details: Asking for a divorce is just the start. From here, you need to move through the legal process, which includes a focus on property and debt division, child custody, child support and alimony, among other details. There is time to figure all this out in the future. Talking about it shortly after asking for a divorce can cause a fight.
  • Don’t retaliate: There’s a chance that your spouse will blame the divorce on you. There’s a chance that they’ll yell and call you names. If you retaliate, the situation will quickly escalate. Take the high road.

When you take these steps, you position yourself to keep the peace when asking for a divorce. It doesn’t necessarily mean the conversation will go off without hitch, but it will improve the likelihood of avoiding complications.

Once your intentions are in the open, you can learn more about the Georgia divorce process and your legal rights.