You’ll have many difficult conversations in your life, but if you find yourself asking your spouse for a divorce it’ll probably move to the top of the list of challenging talks. There is nothing easy about this, even if your spouse knows it’s coming.

Despite the difficulties, there are many things you can do to ease your stress and push the conversation forward in an efficient and productive manner. Here are some top tips to keep in mind:

  • Prepare for everything: You don’t know what your spouse will say or do, so you need to prepare for anything and everything. If you neglect to do this, you could be caught off guard during the conversation, and that’s not something you need.
  • Choose the right time and place: There is more to asking for a divorce than blurting it out at dinner, leaving the house and hoping that everything works out. You need to choose the right time and place, as this can have an impact on the end result.
  • Have a plan and stick with it: Your spouse may attempt to talk you out of getting a divorce. Your spouse may become so upset that you begin to wonder what they’ll do next. It’s not always easy to do, but you have to stick with your plan.
  • Stay safe: Your safety and well-being is more important than the conversation itself, so don’t do anything to put yourself in a bad spot. If you have fears about what your spouse may do, ask for a divorce in person or over the phone. It’s not ideal, but it’s the safest decision.
  • Avoid the details: You may be tempted to talk about the details of your divorce, ranging from child custody to who will get the family home. There is time for this in the future, so you don’t have to cram it into this conversation. Talking about these things shortly after asking for a divorce has the potential to cause a serious argument.

Asking your spouse for a divorce is challenging on many levels, but if it’s something you need to do, it’s best to have a plan in place. Once you get this out of the way, turn your attention to the divorce process, your legal rights and the steps you can take to better your life.