How to divorce:
advice and tips to save your sanity

Divorce tips and advice: Plan B

When you want to know how to divorce, you'll really need good advice. This isn't only for dealing with the legal aspects - but also to ensure you survive the emotional roller-coaster ride of the process itself.

I'm here to help you do just that with this series of articles on how to get divorced.

My top divorce tips (or really; ‘professional advice on relationships and how to divorce)’ have come from years of experience. I'm a couple counsellor and specialise in marriage and relationship guidance.

I've presented my tips in 4 steps with unmissable information on how to divorce as easily as possible. Each step is like a subject we might have discussed had you come to see me for counselling.

Take from it what feels right for you during the various stages of your divorce.

You might also want to have a look at my pages Divorce Advice and Divorce Advice for Men.  I've also written an article about finding the best divorce lawyers which I hope will also be useful for you.

Step 1: – Knowing how to get divorced - are you prepared?
12 essential things to consider

You might already have chewed this over endlessly, and suffered many sleepless nights because of it. However, just in case... I wouldn't be doing my job in guiding you if I didn't discuss this with you. (I'll accept the risk of being considered patronising!)  

So, here goes...

The following divorce advice is for you to consider before you and/or your partner decide that your marriage has reached the end of the road.

12 Things to do before you divorce

  1. Study how best to get a reconciliation if your partner has already left you
  2. Use my Relationship Test to discover what went wrong, but also what is still right
  3. Go for marriage guidance counselling (although this isn't advised if you're dealing with domestic violence), or ...
  4. Use the Save The Marriage blueprint, even if your spouse appears to have lost all interest
  5. Consider face-to-face or online counselling for yourself - really, that's the best divorce advice I can give you! You can talk to a qualified therapist online when it suits you, right from my page.
  6. Give careful consideration to how you will tell or prepare your partner if you haven't already
  7. Read my pages: How to Break Up and How to End a Relationship - both have great divorce advice
  8. Go for a temporary separation for quiet contemplation, re-evaluation and/or 'sorting yourself out'
  9. Reflect on your own role in the difficulties, rather than just blaming your partner (have a look at my page Problem Solving Strategies)
  10. Explore alternative accommodation if you're still living at home (do get some legal advice first)
  11. Consider all the financial implications of ending your marriage
  12. Consider the effect on your children - see my pages Children in the Middle and How Does Divorce Affect Children

Once you've done all that, I can help you with advice on how to divorce and what it entails for you and your family. I can't give you legal advice, but I can help you with divorce tips to lessen the pain of the process.

Step 2: Divorce advice on how to deal with your emotions

7 Tips on how to deal with your emotions during your divorce

  1. Be sure to remain calm when talking with your spouse at all times – however difficult (there's nothing to be gained from further rows at this point) 
  2. Stay calm when you speak to anyone who is fond of her or him
  3. Read my articles on children and divorce - so that you can contain yourself when you feel pushed to the limit and want to badmouth your spouse in front of the children
  4. Work off that 'wound up' feeling with physical exercise. Any kind of sport - like aerobics, yoga or Tai Chi - can make a real difference 
  5. Try to prevent yourself taking flight by drinking too much alcohol (see Stages of Alcoholism) or by comfort eating, smoking, taking drugs or endlessly staring at a computer or television screen
  6. Find a good Divorce Lawyer
  7. Don't for a minute think that revenge is going to make you feel better!


I will forever be grateful for your advice to handle the divorce in a way that inflicts the least pain on the family and ex-spouse and to come out of the process with the most dignity possible.

Some days are still better than others. But I've never regretted or second guessed my decision. I believe this is, in part, due to the wise advice you offer on your website.

Thank you again. You're my hero.

- Kate

Stay calm - a most important bit of advice when you are divorcing!

You might feel the that awful scream inside your chest. You may want the freedom to yell as much as you like at whoever you want, because you are stress up to your eyeball!

And at the same time I know you might just feel like hiding under the duvet right now. But I'd love to introduce you to something I think could really help much more than that...

All you need to do is put your headphones on, and listen to some hypnosis downloads. You'll feel loads better by allowing yourself to be soothed by one of these, rather than either crying yourself to sleep or lying awake for hours.

As well as some really good stress management downloads, there are some really good ones specifically for divorce such as Overcome Parental Guilt. I chose that one because I imagine that you may be worried about the effect that the divorce might have on your children.

If you've decided to separate or divorce, you'll need all your energy to manage the whole process with its roller-coaster ride of emotions. Guilt is understandable and it can lead you to take the utmost care - it can be a motivator. However, beyond that, it can also stop you from doing the right thing, it won't add anything useful and it'll sap your energy. If guilt becomes too overpowering it won't benefit your children. So, why not give it a try?

You might wonder how you'll never get over all this. Some of my clients have felt completely traumatised by the whole thing. Sometimes the endless conflicts that led up to the divorce have left them feeling battered and exhausted. I really want you to know that you will get over itThe hypnosis download: Get Over Divorce will speed up the healing, leaving you feeling calmer, wiser and more confident. What better advice can I give you!

Step 3:– How to get divorced and not 'divorce'’ everyone else!

Based on my experience with couples, I have some divorce tips and advice for dealing with friends and family. People often don't realise that life during such a significant separation could be much more manageable if they knew how to keep (most) their family and friends on both sides. 

Before you tell your friends and family that you want or are going to separate or divorce, you may want to consider the following:

6 Things to consider about your family and friends

  1. You might need their support and friendship
  2. You're likely to have to continue seeing them (family gatherings, parties, etc.)
  3. They may feel they need to choose between you and your partner
  4. Many couples get back together again months or years later, enjoy seeing each other on the odd occasion or even become firm friends (I know - it may surprise you!)
  5. Your children are likely to want to continue seeing them
  6. Your children will want to talk to you about them without fear that they're letting you down

I really recommend that you try to anticipate and plan for every possible reaction from your children, your family and friends - and those of your partner too. This will help you to prepare for any behaviours which might surprise or disappoint you.

What do these divorce tips really tell you? Be careful what you say about your spouse to your friends and family (including his or her family). However difficult it is and however badly you perceive your partner has behaved... always keep in mind the above possibilities.

Step 4:– Telling other people

One of my tips on how to get divorced is to tell the friends and family members you're most often in touch with sooner rather than later that you're thinking of separation or divorce. At least that way you have some control over how they find out. Your partner may want to tell their own family, but don't count on it.

Here are my tips for telling loved ones...

6 Steps to let people know your situation

  1. Call them to say you want to discuss something important. Calmly and kindly decline to say anything on the phone. Just say: “"It's very personal and I'd really like to tell you face-to-face."
  2. Ask them when would be a good time to meet or visit them. You'd want to know that it's convenient so you can prevent it becoming more stressful than it already is
  3. When you arrive and before you start, be sure that you have their attention - undisturbed - and that any children cannot overhear
  4. I'd suggest a gentle lead-in: "“I wonder if you've been aware of our difficulties...”" Then something like: "“I've now decided that I want (or your partner's name wants) a divorce”". Stop yourself saying anything negative about your partner at all costs. It's best not to make any assumptions at this stage about who they're likely to support.  Also, if at a later stage the two of you are getting back together (every divorce lawyer will tell you it happens!) you wouldn't want your partner's relationship with everyone else to be compromised
  5. Expect a reaction (see step 3). Just acknowledge that reaction, whether or not you understand it or agree with it. Don'’t allow yourself to be led into a heated discussion.
    Say something like: "“I know that this is difficult for you"”.  Or gently say: "“Of course you're upset/angry/disappointed/worried”..."

Lastly, family and friends who are on your 'Christmas list' but that you seldom see also need to be told - ideally. Consider simply sending them a card announcing the end of your marriage or long-term relationship. That may well prevent embarrassment later down the line.

Give people time to adjust

Remember that the more emotional we are as human beings the more unpredictable our reactions.  Actually, the more emotional we are, the more stupid we become!

One of my best tips is to really leave time for others to calm down - whilst you're there, after having delivered the message, and in the weeks to come. People will need time to process what you've told them. You too need time - right now it wouldn't be helpful to make a permanent decision about whether or not you want to see them again.

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Related articles

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How to Deal with Depression without Taking Medication
Common Relationship Problems
Getting over a Relationship Fast
Getting the Best Relationship Advice

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Elly Prior

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It's me - Elly Prior, I'm the Founder and Author of this site. I'm a 'real' person! I'm hoping to make a positive difference, small or large, to every person who visits my site.

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