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The Four Most Important Aspects Of That First Divorce Conversation

Beverly Price September 2023

Empowered Divorce Thought Leader: Beverly Price

70-80% of divorces are initiated by women; so it is important that we get to begin the most important conversation right?

Many are so ready for divorce that they just want to blurt out that the marriage is over, or worse attack their husbands for their failures.

The very first conversation you have with your spouse about getting a divorce is the most critical conversation you will have, because it sets the stage for the rest of your divorce and co-parenting. If done well, you can minimize future conflict and possibly promote cooperation. If not done well, hostility and nastiness can follow your every step. Which would you prefer?

“If done well, you can minimize future conflict and possibly promote cooperation.”

The Four Most Important Aspects Of That First Divorce Conversation:

1. Emotional Impact:

The conversation is likely to be emotionally charged and can set the tone for the entire divorce process. It can be a highly sensitive and difficult topic to discuss, and how it is approached can have lasting effects on both parties’ emotional well-being.

2. Communication And Clarity:

It’s essential to communicate openly and honestly about the decision to divorce, the reasons behind it, and the feelings involved. A lack of clear communication can lead to misunderstandings, resentment, and prolonged conflicts.

3. Future Co-Parenting:

If there are children involved, the first conversation lays the foundation for future co-parenting dynamics. A respectful and constructive conversation can help parents focus on the well-being of their children during the divorce and afterward.

4. Legal Implications:

The decisions made during the initial conversation can have legal implications later on. Discussing important issues like property division, child custody, and financial arrangements early can provide a smoother path for the legal process.

“Make sure you do this when you are calm and not angry.”

Do Unto Others:

Ask yourself, “How would I like to be approached with an ‘I want a divorce’ conversation?” It’s important to reflect on what and how you’re are going to deliver the divorce message. This will affect your spouse for a lifetime. Make sure you do this when you are calm and not angry.

Keep in mind that if you are the one starting the conversation that you will have been thinking about this and processing it for some time. The opposite is true for your spouse. This could be brand new information to them. They won’t have time to process or grieve like you have. Don’t expect them to react the way you feel. They may need time.

Plan Your Divorce Conversation:

This is where a divorce coach can be invaluable. A divorce coach is a trained professional who provides support, guidance, and expertise throughout the divorce process.

You should carefully plan your divorce conversation, when it will occur, the setting it will take place in, where the children are, a time when you are not disturbed, whether you do it at home or in public, and what your spouse is doing at the time. You want the time, setting, and frame of mind of your spouse to be conducive to have an empathetic yet direct conversation. Role playing, practicing, and planning this conversation is essential.

“Expect an emotional reaction and be prepared for it.”

You are there to deliver a message, not to go into all the details. There are many details that will need to be worked out, but this is not the time. Your spouse will need time to process this information. You can let them know that there will be time for discussion of all the details later, but you just wanted to let them know of your decision.

Verbal Punching Bag:

You are not there to be a verbal punching bag. If the conversation gets negative or heated, you can request a “time out” or just share that you just wanted to share your decision, and you both will have plenty of time to discuss this further. Use and hold to your boundaries, and don’t let this beat you down. Expect an emotional reaction and be prepared for it.

You don’t have to explain everything or defend yourself. This is just an informative conversation. It should be empathetic. You don’t need to be ugly or nasty or criticize the partner. It’s just a statement of facts.

When you share your decision, you may want to discuss a couple of additional things, such as to not speak to the children about the divorce until you both have planned what you will say together. Also, you shouldn’t speak negatively about each other in front of the child(ren). Child experts suggest having these conversations jointly and respectfully, making sure that you don’t harm the children with either of your hostilities.

“Divorce can be overwhelming with various legal and financial aspects to consider.”

Getting Help:

Does this sound overwhelming or confusing? Feeling alone? Most legal professionals are strongly suggesting that their clients have a divorce coach on their team. Such a coach can help you with emotional support, communication, clarity, and focus.

Divorce can be overwhelming with various legal and financial aspects to consider. A divorce coach can help individuals clarify their goals and priorities during the divorce, making the process more manageable. In addition, by working on your emotions, your thinking will become more clear, decisive and focused.

Guidance Through Legal And Financial Processes:

While not providing legal or financial advice, a divorce coach can help individuals navigate the legal system and financial process by explaining the general process and terminology. They can also help you assemble all the information you will need.

Empowering women to make informed decisions and advocate for their needs during the divorce negotiations helps them find their voice, use it, and set boundaries. Many women come to a divorce with no self-confidence, poor self-care, and no support system.

“A divorce coach is future focused with a goal setting approach.”

Overall, it’s important to note that a divorce coach is not a replacement for legal or financial advice or therapy. One key difference with therapy is that a therapist focuses on the past with family of origin and/or trauma issues. A divorce coach is future focused with a goal setting approach.

Thrive During And In Your New Life After:

Moreover, a divorce coach is a supportive professional to help individuals navigate the emotional, legal, financial, and practical aspects of divorce more effectively. If done correctly, you should be able to work on empowering yourself so you don’t just survive divorce, but thrive during and in your new life after.

[Please note that if you are experiencing any form of domestic violence or are in fear of your safety or that of your children, this is not the approach for you. Before you do ANYTHING, you need to seek the help of skilled Domestic Violence professionals at your local shelter or call the US Domestic Violence hotline 800-799-7233. Leaving an abuser is a terribly risky time when many women are severely injured or killed, and you need the help of trained professionals.]

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About the Author:

Beverly Price, MBA, Certified Divorce Coach®, podcast host, and Founder of Her Empowered Divorce, combines divorce and empowerment coaching to provide education, support, and insight to guide women from beginning to end of the divorce process, and to conquer its emotional, technical, financial and logistical challenges and fears. 

She coaches women through the ups and downs and grow from self-doubt to self-love quicker, with less pain, more knowledge and more support than she had.  She has a personal history with divorce, co-parenting, domestic violence and more. Combining her personal experience with her training, professional certifications and business knowledge, she can help women by supporting them along their journey, helping them to work through resentments, time management, communication, overwhelm, fear, sadness and shock. You can schedule a complimentary consultation with Beverly at https://www.herempowereddivorce.com  Check out this Meetup group for support on Zoom for separated, divorcing, and divorced women https://www.meetup.com/womens-divorce-and-empowerment-group/