The First Cut Is the Deepest—How To Ask for a Divorce Peacefully
The way you tell your spouse that you want a divorce can influence how the endgame pans out—get it wrong, and you could be in for a court battle.
DoNotPay examines how to ask for a divorce peacefully and ease the way towards ending your marriage.
Divorce does not have to be a blame game.
Every state accepts the idea of no-fault divorce, meaning that you don’t have to start the divorce process by accusing your spouse of any wrongdoing.
It is enough for you to say that:
- You and your spouse have irreconcilable differences
- Your marriage has broken down irretrievably
Your spouse doesn’t have to agree with your assertion—you can file for divorce on your own using either of these reasons, and a judge will accept your claim.
If you are firm in your belief that a divorce is the right way to go, the best outcome is for your spouse to agree that:
- You are doing the right thing by divorcing
- The process should be conducted peacefully
- You should both walk away with a fair settlement
If the way you ask for a divorce achieves these three goals, you and your spouse may:
The best advice for asking for a divorce peacefully is for you to:
- Remain calm
- Choose a quiet moment
- Be firm but empathic
- Look for collaboration and help
Asking for a divorce is always going to be highly sensitive, and any emotion you show is likely to be reflected doubly by your spouse.
The calmer you remain, the less the discussion will be ruled by emotion.
The divorce discussion should not be a hit-and-run but should be carefully planned to take place when both of you can concentrate without distraction or external pressure.
You need to remain steadfast in your resolve, but you also need to try to understand your spouse’s viewpoint.
Negating or rejecting your spouse’s right to voice an opinion can easily cause conflict.
If your spouse feels you are not listening to their side of the discussion, they may look for someone who will listen—a lawyer may be their choice of a sounding board.
Your spouse may want to vent when you ask for a divorce—you should be prepared for this and be ready to actively listen to what is said.
If both of you can work together on the divorce, you will be able to minimize its impact on each other and those close to you.
Asking your spouse for help in making the process work may be a way of generating the “we’re in this together” sentiment.
If you are successful in the way you ask to end your marriage, you and your spouse can aim for an uncontested divorce.
However well you and your spouse work together towards your divorce, the bottom line is that the judge at your county court will decide whether your divorce needs to be contested in court.
The decision will be based on whether the judge believes your settlement agreement is:
|Settlement Agreement Criteria||Explanation|
|Legally valid||The judge will check that the scope, format, and wording of your settlement agreement meet the standards required in your state|
|Comprehensive||In your petition for divorce, you will have listed your joint responsibilities and finances from the marriage. The judge will check that your agreement covers everything, including|
|Clear||Your agreement must set everything out in language that is unambiguous and not open to later contest by either of you|
|Fair and equitable||The judge will make sure that your children are looked after adequately, your spouse receives fair treatment, and you are not unfairly disadvantaged by your agreement|
If your settlement agreement meets all these criteria, the judge should grant your uncontested divorce without any problem.
If you and your spouse cooperate and agree on everything, setting up your settlement agreement is relatively easy.
You may need help to negotiate the terms of your settlement, though—in which case your options are:
You and your spouse can both hire attorneys and let them negotiate on your behalf.
This is the traditional route, but you need to be aware that it’s also the most expensive.
Lawyers charge up to $450 per hour and will usually demand a hefty upfront retainer to negotiate your settlement. Uncontested divorces with lawyer involvement cost around $4,500 per spouse on average.
An alternative is for you and your spouse to use a mediation service to help you negotiate face-to-face.
A mediator is an impartial facilitator who can help you focus on solutions and desired outcomes at a fraction of the cost of attorneys.
As soon as your settlement is agreed upon, you need to have it drafted as a legal document for you and your spouse to sign.
Your options for this are:
- Lawyer—Your agreement will be perfect, but this will come at a cost of over $1,500
- Online service—Various websites offer online settlement agreement templates, but many of these are highly generic and may not cover your exact needs or pass muster in court
DoNotPay has the solution! We can turn your settlement agreement into a watertight, customized document that covers all your bases!
DoNotPay is committed to making your divorce as easy and peaceful as possible!
Our Divorce Settlement Agreement feature is designed to create a tailor-made contract between you and your spouse that:
- Encapsulates everything you have agreed on
- Is legally airtight
- Requires no lawyers
Here’s what you need to do to set your settlement agreement up:
- Go to DoNotPay in your web browser and sign up
- Click on our Divorce Settlement Agreement product
- Follow the prompts and fill out the terms you have agreed on
Once you are done, your agreement will be ready in a flash.
You and your spouse can sign it and have it notarized.
Why waste time and money completing mundane tasks on your own when you can let DoNotPay assist you? Take a look at the table below to find out what our AI-powered app can do for you:
|Protect your safety and privacy|
|Draft legal documents|
|Help you get your money back|
Since communication is key, you’ll appreciate our feature that helps you get in touch with customer service reps quickly! We’ll also show you how to send faxes online and have your documents notarized by an online notary with ease!