Between the years 2006 and 2010, a 68 percent chance existed that a first marriage for a woman would last at least 10 years and a 52 percent chance that it would last for 20 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health Statistics Reports. If you're on the other end of these statistics and are thinking about leaving your spouse, plan ahead for financial, legal and emotional issues to minimize your stress and make your divorce go as smoothly as possible.
Initiate a conversation about the divorce when you both have the time to sit down and talk, suggests mediator Sam Margulies on "Psychology Today." If you have kids, pick a time when they aren't home to overhear you. Minimize distractions by turning off your cellphones.
Plan your conversation beforehand for the eventuality that your spouse becomes angry or upset, cries or tries to talk you out of the divorce, keeping in mind that your husband may not have the same feelings that you do. In "Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce," Margulies notes that these behaviors are normal for this situation. For example, tell yourself that if he starts to yell, you will count to 10 and calm down instead of shouting back.
Get your finances in order, says financial expert Jeff Landers, writing for "Forbes." Review your bank account and credit card information. If you don't already have your own bank account and credit line, completely separate from your spouse's, put them in place.
Gather together or make copies of important financial documents such as tax returns, the deed for your home, vehicle titles or any other important information that may come in to play during the divorce proceedings, Landers writes.
Contact an attorney who specializes in family law, Landers says.
Prepare your children, explaining the separation honestly, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics on HealthyChildren.org. Listen to what the kids have to say and field any questions.
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Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.
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