How to Ask Your Spouse for a Divorce in NY

How to Ask Your Spouse for a Divorce in NY

Deciding to get a divorce from your spouse and actually telling them you want to split up are two very different things. While it’s rarely easy to determine it’s best to call it quits on your marriage, telling your spouse will likely be a very difficult conversation. Your circumstances may also dictate when and how you reveal the intent to dissolve your marriage to your spouse. Here are some ways you can break the news and how an experienced divorce attorney can help you.

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How to Ask for a Divorce If You Expect It to Be Amicable

If you and your spouse are on good terms and you expect notifying them you want to get a divorce will be amicable, it’s generally best to tell them in person. The longer you have been married and the more your spouse has invested in the partnership, the greater the responsibility you have to communicate face-to-face about what you want for your future.

How to Ask for a Divorce If You Expect it to Be Contentious

If you expect that your spouse will react very negatively to the news that you want to get a divorce, you may want to communicate this to them in writing. If you think your spouse will interrupt you, try to argue, or speak over you when you tell them you’re ending the marriage, putting your position into words that they will have to read in full before responding can help you be heard.

You can communicate in person after breaking the news by text or email if you feel like there is a good cause to open the dloor for a back-and-forth conversation. Or, you can continue writing back and forth. The latter benefits you substantially by creating a paper trail of everything your spouse says after you announce you would like to get a divorce.

How to Ask for a Divorce If Your Spouse Is Abusive

If you are a domestic violence victim or your partner has abused you or your children, you do not have to notify them of your intent to get a divorce and it’s even in your best interests not to. The most dangerous period of time for someone leaving an abusive marriage is right after the violent partner learns that their spouse wants to get a divorce.

Instead, think about what you can do to prepare ahead of time, such as opening your own bank account in your name only and starting a new, higher-paying job and saving the extra money in a place your spouse doesn’t know about. Your chances of successfully leaving a situation involving domestic violence are greatest when you plan ahead without letting your spouse know what you intend to do until you are able to put everything into action at once.

How to Ask for a Divorce If You Have Children

If you and your spouse have children, you may want to talk to your spouse first so you can then approach your kids together. You should avoid letting your children know or suspect you are planning to leave the marriage before you’ve discussed it with your spouse, even if your kids are older.

However, if your spouse is abusive, you may need to make your kids aware of your plan or even a part of it in order to keep your family protected and lower the risk of getting caught before you’ve finished setting up your safety net.

When to Get Help from a Veteran Long Island Divorce Lawyer

If you are thinking about the possibility of getting divorced or you are ready to take the next step, you can benefit from hiring an experienced Long Island, NY divorce attorney to help you. Your attorney can help you do a number of things related to your divorce, like arranging for your spouse to be served and communicating with their legal team if they hire one.

At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we understand the pressure you face after deciding to divorce your spouse before you’ve told them that this is what you intend to do. We can help you navigate this difficult process with comprehensive support. Call us today for a consultation to discuss your case by dialing 631-923-1910. We serve all areas of Long Island and New York, including Nassau and Suffolk counties.


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19:57 28 Dec 22
Divorce is never easy, but Hornberger Verbitsky made the process as smooth as it gets. I used the firm for mediation. All emails were answered quickly, and the team was extremely knowledgeable. Patty in particular was wonderful to work with, and very patient with all of my questions. I would highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky!
Janine Keleghan
Janine Keleghan
00:01 20 Nov 22
From the minute my now x-husband and I met with Robert, we both felt comfortable and confident that he and his firm were a great fit for our "gray divorce". Divorce is unsettling but the firm and the confidence, consideration and responsiveness made this very challenging time much easier to navigate. I am grateful for the whole team at Hornberger Verbitsky. Reasonable competent and fair to both my "x" and I. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone needing legal representation. Patty is also the "bomb" she was always kind and patient with me, which was a blessing during this very difficult life changing time.

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