2024 How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce in California

Sometimes, considering the idea of divorce can be difficult and complex.

March 22, 2024

Sometimes, considering the idea of divorce can be difficult and complex, even before thinking about talking to your partner about it. Keep reading to find out what you should ask yourself before deciding on divorce, how to tell your spouse you want a divorce in California, and when to begin the process of marriage dissolution.

What to Consider Before Moving Forward with the Decision to Divorce

It’s possible you and your spouse may already be in a bit of an emotional divorce if not faced with obvious irreconcilable differences (e.g., cheating, disagreements on fundamental issues) if you feel as if the two of you act more like roommates lately rather than a married couple.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you feel conflicted about wanting a divorce: How much do you still love your partner? Would you really be happier without them? What would your goals be in a custody agreement? If you could magically fix things with a snap of your fingers, how would you fix the marriage?

It’s important to consider what you could be doing differently and not just your spouse’s faults. It’s okay to ponder the idea of life after a divorce without wanting to go through the process of finding out if the grass is greener, and what the actual logistics of making such a serious decision are.

What to Do Before Planning to Divorce or Bringing It Up to Your Partner

If, after examining your relationship and your feelings, you’ve decided there is still a part of you that wants to make your marriage work, the first step is to have a completely honest and open conversation with them. The conversation may be blunt, but as long as you can explain how the interactions and feelings between you two have changed or affected you without blaming them, you haven’t said anything that’s abnormal of a spouse.

Be sure to actively listen to how your partner has felt or been affected by the situation as well when they’re opening up by sharing their perspective with you. The two of you may come up with ideas or a plan in order to address your issues, which may include spending some time living separately. You and your spouse may also consider seeking the help of a marriage counselor or other professional.

How to Broach a Conversation About Divorce With Your Spouse

Sometimes, you or your partner, or both of you, don’t want to try rekindling your relationship or haven’t been able to after trying. If the time comes to bring up the divorce topic with your significant other, keep in mind that they aren’t guaranteed to see the logic of the decision immediately or in the same way you do. Approach this topic with your partner with respect and while being considerate of their feelings or point of view.

It may be helpful to broach talking about divorce when you and your spouse are in a setting with a counselor, whether during an appointment specifically for this purpose or a prior meeting that you two had planned. If you’re not in counseling, schedule a time when the two of you are unlikely to be uninterrupted and in an environment appropriate for a serious conversation, such as a dinner or a night out. It helps to ensure your partner will be somewhere they’re comfortable.

Be prepared for the questions and worries your spouse’s mind is likely to jump to, such as: Have you met someone else? Is this about money? Do you have a lawyer already? And if applicable, What about the kids? Consider these topics and the manner in which you want to (truthfully) answer them. The conversation is almost impossible to have easily or unemotionally, but try to answer your spouse’s questions frankly without taking them to heart.


Q: Who Loses More Financially in a Divorce?

A: In California, neither person should lose more financially in a divorce because each spouse is entitled to half the community property. A couple’s marital property, which includes debts and any liabilities incurred during the marriage, is subject to equitable division, which means that a single asset may be split 50/50 or fully awarded to one spouse. The goal is for each person to end up with a total net property that is as close to equal as possible.

Q: What Is the First Thing to Do When Separating?

A: The first thing to do when legally separating, which means you and your spouse are still married but have decided to divide your property and finances, is to file for the separation just as you would for a divorce, except you would select separation instead on the form. There’s no waiting period afterward, like in a divorce.

Q: What Should You Do Before Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce?

A: Before telling your spouse you want to file for divorce, consider having an honest conversation about what has changed or affected you to make you feel unhappy. Listen to their perspective and feelings; you and your partner may feel similarly in wanting to work to improve your marriage or that divorce is the ideal way to go.

Q: Who Is Better off Emotionally After Divorce?

A: It’s impossible to say who will be better off after the divorce is finalized because it can be emotionally difficult for both individuals. Whoever gets primary custody of the kids, statistically less likely for fathers, may feel overwhelmed without their spouse’s immediate help, while the parent with visitation may feel lonely and restless.

No matter how the divorce goes and how a person feels, it’s important to attend to your health/well-being, including taking the appropriate measures to cope.

If You’re Preparing to File for Divorce, Our Attorneys Can Help

At the Law Offices of Hollie A. Lemkin, APC, our divorce lawyers and legal team have a deep working knowledge of family law. We skillfully represent our clients so that their rights are protected and their needs are met. Schedule a consultation with us.

Call today to speak with Hollie A. Lemkin to discuss your questions & issues!


More Articles

Signs of Divorce in California [2024 Updated]

We’re here to alleviate stress and provide compassionate law advice.

March 03, 2024

2024 How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce in California

Sometimes, considering the idea of divorce can be difficult and complex.

March 03, 2024