If you’re at the point where divorce is the only answer to your marital problems, you’ll want nothing more than to start the process. While it’s okay to move things in the right direction, you must be careful of how you ask your spouse for a divorce.

If you take the right approach, it can ease the tension and allow you to move forward in a more efficient manner.

However, if you take the wrong approach, it could add more stress to your situation, thus putting up another barrier between you and your spouse during an already difficult time.

These five tips can aid you as you ask for a divorce:

  • Prepare for the conversation: What do you want to say? How will you react to your spouse? Is there anything in particular that could cause an argument? Preparing for everything ensures that you are ready to deal with anything that arises during the conversation.
  • Speak in private: As long as you’re not concerned about your safety, choose a private place to have the conversation. You don’t want any outsiders getting in the way, as this is an important discussion with far-reaching implications.
  • Firmly explain your stance: You don’t have to be overly aggressive when asking for a divorce, but remaining firm is important. Explain why you want a divorce, and stick with your plan. Giving your spouse hope that you want to work things out will only complicate things.
  • Don’t get caught up in an argument: You have every intention of remaining calm, but your spouse could blow up. If they’re unable to discuss the topic at hand in a reasonable manner, tell them you’d prefer to end the conversation. Don’t do anything to escalate the situation.
  • Avoid the details: Your divorce is full of many details, ranging from who gets the house to where the children will live. These details need to be worked out, but not during this conversation. There will be time to figure things out in mediation or through litigation.

Divorce is a huge deal, so you need to prepare as such. Once you have the initial conversation out of the way, you can file for divorce, learn more about your legal rights and settle on a plan that will allow you to work through the process as quickly and stress-free as possible.