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Friday, February 11, 2011

How should I tell my spouse that I want a Divorce?

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A recent Huffington Post slideshow highlights the problem with breaking the big "D" word: Divorce Cards: The 8 Harshest Ways To Say Goodbye.

Although many couples know a Divorce is coming, in almost all cases one person decides first that the marriage is irretrievably broken down and there is no chance of reconciliation. When that happens, the way that the subject is brought up can set the tone for the case moving forward. Parties can discuss the issue directly, or lawyers can bring up the subject via telephone call or letter. In some cases it may be necessary to have the party served by a constable or sheriff even though that might start the case on a negative note.

While many couples will be comfortable enough to discuss the choice to divorce directly, there are two types of cases where it doesn't make sense to do so:

1. The first and most obvious reason that discussing divorce directly may not be appropriate is in cases of domestic violence. In these cases reducing or avoiding potentially volatile interactions is most important. Similarly in cases where one party fears the other (even if there isn't a history of violence) then direct communication may be problematic.

2. In cases where funds may be wasted or hidden, it is sometimes important to have the other party served with the divorce complaint and summons as soon as possible. This is because the Automatic Restraining Order (Supplemental Probate Court Rule 411) prohibits parties from transferring or wasting assets except for specific exceptions, and goes into effect once they are served with the Complaint for Divorce. In these cases, discussions could tip the other party off and they might avoid service of the complaint.

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