Initiating the end of a marriage can be a very emotionally charged event for both parties. Taking steps to ensure this conversation is civilized, straightforward, and considerate can help set the stage for a better divorce process. While these are rarely comfortable conversations, they can be made better with some planning and the right approach.
Here are some things that North Carolina individuals should consider in advance of bringing up a divorce:
- Pick the right time and location: Unless there is a risk of violence from the other party, a private and secluded area is often best for bringing up a divorce. This will minimize distractions and demonstrate respect.
- Be prepared with what will (and will not) be said: Both parties will likely remember this conversation for a long time, as it is undoubtedly a defining moment in their lives. Hurtful things said out of anger or frustration could have long-term consequences when stated during such a memorable conversation. Preparing in advance will prevent emotions from taking over and keep the conversation more civilized.
- Be prepared for an emotional response: It is important for the party raising the divorce conversation to remember that the other party has not had time to prepare for the conversation. Naturally, their response may be more emotional, angry or hurtful. While there is no simple way to avoid this, it helps to be prepared for it.
- Establish boundaries: An emotional response from the other party can illicit feelings of sympathy or guilt. While this is perfectly normal, it is important to maintain the main message. Being overly comforting or sympathetic can lead to mixed messages, which will add to frustration later on.
Remember, decisions made early in the divorce process can be impactful on the overall outcome. The navigation of conflict, the timing of leaving the house, behavior with the children, and other decisions can have legal consequences later on. As such, it is important to reach out to a North Carolina family lawyer as early as possible to understand the best way to navigate every step of the divorce.