Imagine this scenario: You have been thinking long and hard about your marriage and how things aren’t working out. You finally come to the conclusion that divorce is the only way for you to feel better about the future.

While this is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, you don’t want to put it off any longer. If you know that divorce is right for you, it’s time to take action. This means telling your spouse your feelings and putting the wheels in motion.

Of course, this is easier said than done. There is more to telling your spouse you want a divorce than blurting it out and hoping for the best. These are the types of steps that you need to take:

  • Choose the right time to sit down and discuss your relationship. You need to block off enough time, as this conversation is sure to drag on (for most people, at least).
  • Don’t involve your children. There is never a good time to discuss the divorce process in the presence of your children. They will eventually learn more about your situation, but you don’t have to have the initial conversation in front of them.
  • Get to the point. There is no reason to beat around the bush, as it will only make things more difficult on both individuals. Tell your spouse your feelings and what you hope to do about them.
  • Make sure your safety comes first. If you have any reason to think that your spouse could become upset, angry and violent, you should consider the benefits of discussing your relationship over the phone or in a public place. There is never a good time to risk your safety.

There is no right or wrong way to tell your spouse you want a divorce, but there are things you can do to ease the pain and stress.

Once you make your way through this conversation, learn more about the divorce process and your legal rights. The knowledge you collect will go a long way in helping you make better decisions in the days, weeks and months to come.