Despite your best efforts, you have reason to believe that divorce is the best way to improve your life on many levels. Divorce is a major step in your life, but at some point the thought of status quo can become intolerable. You just don’t want to put it off any longer.

Even when you’ve reached that point, there is reason to proceed with caution. There are important steps you should take before deciding to tell your spouse you want a divorce.

Here are some questions to answer before you ask for a divorce:

  • Are you sure that you want to move forward? You don’t want to ask for a divorce until you are 100 percent sure that this makes the most sense. If you still want to attempt to save your marriage, don’t have this conversation just yet.
  • Are you prepared for everything? If you don’t know what will happen when you file for a divorce, you need to prepare yourself for the short- and long-term issues you will face. Going through a divorce is often painful and difficult, even for the party who initiated the proceeding. Understanding the process before you begin can make things easier.
  • When will you ask for a divorce? Choosing the right time and place to have the conversation is important, so you need to put a lot of thought into this. Don’t ask for a divorce during Thanksgiving dinner or while you’re driving your kids to school. You can’t make the conversation easy, but you can avoid a worst case scenario.
  • How will you get your point across? Your spouse may not believe what you say, so you need to be firm at all points of the conversation. This doesn’t mean you have to become upset. You simply need to make it clear that you have made up your mind.
  • When will you discuss the details of your divorce? Some people are tempted to dive right into this, but it’s often a mistake to do so. You should hold off until you file the necessary paperwork and have the opportunity to get everything in order.

These are among the more important questions to answer before you ask for a divorce, but there are others that may require your attention.

Once you have the initial conversation and feel good about where things stand, you can collect the necessary information, file for divorce and move through the process as quickly and efficiently as possible.