When and how you inform your spouse that you want to divorce can set the tone for all the proceedings to follow. Therefore, the approach you take deserves some deliberation and preparation beforehand.
The timing of the conversation is very important. Equally important is the approach you take to the conversation.
When to have the conversation
You should only talk to your spouse about divorce when you have weighed all your options and gained clarity about your decision. Once decided that divorce is the only option, the conversation should take place fairly soon thereafter. Delaying it will not improve the situation. At the same time, you should avoid having the conversation during special times, such as holidays, birthdays or vacations.
How to approach the conversation
You should never mention divorce in the heat of an argument, nor use it as an ultimatum or a threat. At the same time, you should not hide your feelings from your spouse. Long before you make a final decision regarding divorce, you should communicate your unhappiness to your spouse and try to find ways that you can work out your differences together.
Once you decide that there are no options remaining to you other than divorce, you should set aside some time to have the conversation to be sure you have time to allow your spouse to process his or her emotions so you can say everything that you need to say. This conversation should take place face to face during a time when your children are not around to hear it.
Do not make any proposals regarding your divorce settlement. There will be a time to talk about those things, but the initial conversation is not that time. Try to avoid blaming your spouse or making any accusatory statements.