Asking your spouse for a divorce is easier said than done, especially if the other person doesn’t know how you are feeling.

This is sure to be an awkward conversation, but you can’t let that stop you from pushing ahead. If you’ve come to the conclusion that divorce is the best thing for you, it’s time to take action.

Here are five basic tips for asking your spouse for a divorce:

  • Be clear about what you are going to say. You don’t want to “wing it” and hope that everything falls into place, as this could lead to a situation in which you leave something out. Have an idea of what you want to say and how you want the conversation to go.
  • Choose the right time to talk. There is a right and wrong time to ask your spouse for a divorce. An example of a right time is when you and your spouse are alone and able to discuss exactly what is going on. An example of a wrong time is when you’re eating a family dinner or driving your child to school.
  • Remain calm from start to finish. Even if you are angry and upset, you need to remain calm and kind throughout the process. The same holds true if your spouse begins to “take shots” at you. Losing your cool isn’t going to help your situation.
  • Safety comes first. If you have any reason to believe that your spouse will become verbally or physically abusive, you should opt to have the conversation in a public place or over the phone. It’s not ideal to do this, but your safety must always come first. No questions asked.
  • Remain serious. You should never give your spouse the impression that you aren’t serious about moving forward with the divorce. You need to make it clear that you have given this a lot of thought, and that you are ready to take immediate action.

These may not be the only tips you follow when asking your spouse for a divorce, but they can definitely ease your stress and help you push forward in a clear and concise manner.

Once this conversation is out of the way, turn your attention to your legal rights and the way the divorce process will unfold.