Once you realize you want to get a divorce, you'll do whatever it takes to put the wheels in motion. Along the same lines, you'll also take steps to speed up the process, as you want to put your marriage in the past as quickly as possible.

Before you get too far ahead of yourself, it's critical to think long and hard about how you ask your spouse for a divorce. The steps you take will impact the process in a number of ways. Here are five tips to follow:

  • Prepare for everything: You think your spouse will be okay with divorce, just to find that they're extremely angry and upset. Conversely, you may think your spouse will fight you, just to learn that they don't care as much as you thought. When you prepare for everything, nothing will surprise you.
  • Choose a time and place that makes sense: An often overlooked tip, you don't want to ask for a divorce whenever it comes to mind. You should choose a quiet and private place at a time where there's nothing to get in your way. This will ensure that the conversation stays on topic.
  • Don't back down: It's possible you could ask for a divorce, just for your spouse to do whatever it takes to talk you out of it. If you're 100 percent sure that divorce is the answer, you don't want to back down now.
  • Stay safe: Your safety is more important than the conversation itself. If you believe your spouse will become extremely upset, angry and maybe even violent, ask for a divorce over the phone or in a public place.
  • Don't talk about the details just yet: There is more to getting a divorce than asking for one. As you proceed, you'll focus on things such as property division, child support and child custody. These are all important to your future, but that doesn't mean you have to discuss the details up front. There is plenty of time for that during mediation or litigation.

When you follow these tips, you'll feel better about your ability to ask for a divorce. With this first step out of the way, you can tackle the divorce process with a clear mind. And that's exactly what you need in order to best protect your legal rights.

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